Why get news when you can hear what some random know-nothing thinks?

With the recent comment moderation scandal at the CBC (yeah, I’ll just go ahead and call it a scandal there), some people have asked whether we’re all that interested in hearing uninformed comments from random people attached to news stories.

I’ve argued before that high-traffic websites (like CBC) should be more stringent with moderation, because nobody is going to read through hundreds of comments for the few that are actually worth reading. At the very least, some sort of comment ranking or “featured comments” system should be put in place to make the quality ones stand out.

I also argue against so-called “reverse publishing”, where anonymous or pseudonymous web comments are republished in offline media.

This video, spotted on Nora Young’s Spark blog, is a good (and funny) example of the pointlessness of filling the airwaves with comments from random people who don’t know what they’re talking about. (I could have also posted a video of CNN’s Rick Sanchez reading Twitter comments, but that’s more sad than funny.)

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