drop corporate blog comments Online publishers are shuttering their comment sections and turning to social media. Most recently, Vice shut down its comments on its articles as part of an overall website facelift. Many blogs, including corporate blogs, have disabled comments as readers turn to social media.

At their best, comments foster a productive community discussion, provide additional insights the original article missed, and open dialogue between a publication and its readers.

Prone to Anarchy

Unfortunately, website comments sections are rarely at their best, says Vice Media Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Smith. “Without moderators or fancy algorithms, they are prone to anarchy. Too often they devolve into racist, misogynistic maelstroms where the loudest, most offensive, and stupidest opinions get pushed to the top and the more reasoned responses drowned out in the noise,” Smith states in the announcement.

The publication loves thoughtful input from readers and fears dropping comments might offend them. But Vice lacks the resources to monitor all the garbage, he said. Instead, the publication will entertain readers’ input on Twitter and Facebook.

Other media outlets, including USA Today, the Verge and Recode, also closed comments, notes eConsultancy. However, some, such as the New York Times and the Guardian, have decided to continue receiving comments and have dedicated the necessary resources to moderate the remarks.

The Social Media Alternative

Social media offers greater controls over comments. If an article might be inflammatory, the publication might not promote it or only post it on a platform suited to the conversation or audience. If publications already have dedicated teams monitoring social media, finding and responding to comments is an easy transition.

Publishers, as well as brands, have followed their audiences to social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Commenting is easier on social networks than on blogs, which often require registration, and most people feel they get more recognition social networks.

The Demise of Corporate Blog Comments

Many corporate blogs have abandoned comments, pointed out communications consultant Arik Hanson, principal of ACH Communications. While some tire of trolls and spammers, others find that their posts elicit few or almost no comments. Posts with many empty comment fields can reflect poorly on the brand’s image, Hanson wrote in his blog post (which had received no comments).

Although corporate communicators should consider shutting off comments, they should reach a decision on a case-by-cases basis, Hanson added. Some PR and marketing blogs, such as SpinSucks, continue to receive plentiful numbers of comments.

Bottom Line: Publishers and corporations are closing comment sections on their blogs and articles and eliciting and answering comments on social media. That alternative offers several advantages as long as organizations have teams in place to monitor social media and respond to commenters when appropriate.