For some time now, comments sections on websites have been closing down or becoming more exclusive to users. I’m sure there are a whole slew of reasons comments get banned. For a while shutting down comments sections became a thing.
My perception is that there were too many Conservative and Other Right Wing commenters making too much sense and too much noise on certain sites. In other cases, there was just a lot of straight up trolling going on.
Neoconservative website, National Review Online actually switched out their comments provider from Disqus to Facebook after a seemingly never ending trolling from members of the Far Right Podcast Site and Forum, TheRightStuff.biz.
At this point in time, there is more censorship than ever before after The Alt Right’s outing in Charlottesville, VA. Domains have been seized on The Alt Right and there is talk of censorship of others on the right. Not too long ago even then President Obama tried to shut out FOX News.
Some aspects of the internet are covered under free speech. In others, the sites owner can decide what they want or do not want on their site. While some are coming up with platforms to ensure speech now, others are coming up with better ways for webmasters to control it. The Disqus comments platform just released a new “toxicity filter” for their platform.
The Disqus platform seemed to come along at a bad time. They had a good product though and became almost standard for comments sections. It seems maybe so as to not lose customers, the toxicity filter has been developed. According to their Press Release, they think they can get more people to comment on sites as well.
What the filter basically does is learn what the human moderator looks for then Disqus serves it up to them as a priority item.
That’s all fine and good but in the battle for speech and ideas, this may be one of the final ones on the comment front. If a troll who once spoke his peace in rude, crude and profane language comes with his or her ideas polished, what do if their ideas are still deemed dangerous. What do if their verified ideas and thoughts are censored next?