Improving comments by having fewer

The Ventura County Star has started limiting comments to just a handful of stories a day.  Editor Joe Howry wrote a column about what the newspaper is doing.

He wrote:

If, as they say, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then
allowing anonymous comments on stories on our website added an express
lane to that Godforsaken highway.

What began as a well-meaning attempt to engage our readers in
thought-provoking, informative conversations about local issues turned
into a cesspool of vitriol, name-calling, rudeness and even racism.
What’s worse, the vast majority of these conversations are being
conducted by just a handful of people who so dominate the discussions
they either scare away or run off anyone who tries to engage in civil
dialogue.

There is no set number of stories on which comments are allowed, but it’s a small number so they can closely watch the comments on those articles. Comments are turned off on most breaking news stories, particularly accident stories.

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