The concerns of the publishers, not the wishes of the readers, are behind the trend towards eliminating online comments to published news stories. At least one media aggregate site - the one you’re reading now - hopes commenters jilted by VT Digger and others will welcome the opportunity to freely express their views on Vermont’s hottest news stories.
“About six years ago, though, national online news sites started having serious second thoughts about the time, cost and hassle of moderating comments, the questionable practice of commenter anonymity, and their own legal exposure, media industry watchdog NiemanLab reports. Pandemic-related financial pressure has led some media to cut comment-moderating staff. Also, some politically conservative critics say the comments ban is intended by supposedly liberal media editors and publishers to silence them. “Guess they couldn’t handle the conservative backlash they were seeing,” former frequent VT Digger commenter Bob Orleck of Randolph told Vermont Daily this week. “I believe it is an act of cowardice. Now they can more easily eliminate us, who are irritants, from any input. Much easier to reject a commentary than a footnote. Some of us will never again be heard through VTDigger.”"
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