St. Louis Post-Dispatch Shuts Off Comment Function After Ferguson Sparks ‘Vile And Racist’ Remarks

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is turning off all comments on its opinion editorials, columns and letters, the editorial board announced Monday. The paper offered a succinct explaination: “Why? Ferguson.” The Post-Dispatch said that for the next two months readers will not be able to comment on any opinion page pieces, calling it “an experiment in elevating the conversation.” The decision to cut commenting is a result of high levels of “vile and racist comments” as well as “shouting and personal attacks” in the height of the Ferguson protests over the killing of Michael Brown. The Huffington Post has reached out to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and will update this post if and when it responds. The …

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is turning off all comments on its opinion editorials, columns and letters, the editorial board announced Monday.

The paper offered a succinct explaination: “Why? Ferguson.”

The Post-Dispatch said that for the next two months readers will not be able to comment on any opinion page pieces, calling it “an experiment in elevating the conversation.” The decision to cut commenting is a result of high levels of “vile and racist comments” as well as “shouting and personal attacks” in the height of the Ferguson protests over the killing of Michael Brown.

The Huffington Post has reached out to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and will update this post if and when it responds.

The comments have not all been negative and racist, the editorial board said:

We intend to use our opinion pages to help the St. Louis region have a meaningful discussion about race. So we are going to turn off the comments in the editorial section for a while, and see what we learn from it. (Comment will continue on news articles). Comments might return to the opinion pages. Or we might find that without them, the discussion — through letters, social media conversations and online chats, rises to a higher level.

That’s the goal.

The post added that there will still be plenty of ways to comment on stories and for readers to get their voices heard, including a weekly live chat on Ferguson, which the paper will host. Readers can also go to their Facebook page and leave comments there.

“Let’s give civility a try,” the note concluded.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Shuts Off Comment Function After Ferguson Sparks ‘Vile And Racist’ Remarks