Thursday, September 5, 2013

The New York <i>Post</i>'s Comment Section is Back! Ahhhhh!

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 11:25 AM

New York Post website
A thorough redesign to The New York Post's website launched today, making it look like a swankier DNAinfo and also making it harder to find local news specifically by borough. So, great. Worst of all, though, is that the tabloid has brought back its comments section, where some of the most vile members of the human race once congregated to spew racism, sexism, rape fantasies, and other terrible things. Seriously: if you wanted to lose your faith in humanity, you could get lost in that swamp of opinion. But that swamp was drained in January, unceremoniously, when the website suddenly pulled the option to comment from its articles, making it look like the comments had never even existed. I reached out to reporter-friends who work there to ask about it; maybe a company-wide memo had gone out, or something? Maybe even the editors at the Post couldn't abide such horrible expression? One ignored me; the other said, "uh, i have no idea."

Well, why not just let it go?, I thought. Freedom of speech is a lovely thing, but I was more than happy to see that particular outlet for it silently disappear. But just as abruptly and unpublicized as the comments section had left our lives, it has returned. The first comment on the day's top story, about a spike in crime in Central Park, might make you hopeful: it's a lengthy and thoughtful response to fearmongering through crime rates and race. "This is your version of truth," wrote a commenter in response. (But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law? We all have truths; are mine the same as yours?) Scroll down a little and see the concise observation, "Feral Democrats." Ah, that's the Post comments section I remember. I'd say something like, "don't ever change," except I would like it very much to change.

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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