Reuters dumps comments feature on news articles - trolls are now Facebook and Twitter's problem

Reuters is to ditch the comments section from its news articles in a move acknowledging the importance of social media to open debate.

Although readers will still be able to comment on opinion and column pieces hosted on the site, they will do longer be able to do so for news articles.

Instead, those with opinions have been directed to the Reuters Facebook and Twitter accounts where the site will no longer be responsible for policing offensive comments.

Dan Colarusso, executive editor of Reuters Digital, said: “During the past few years, much has changed about how readers interact with news. They find coverage in diverse places and in new ways. They watch video, use graphics and calculators and relate to content far differently than in the past.

“Considering these dynamics, Reuters is ending user comments on news stories. Much of the well-informed and articulate discussion around news, as well as criticism or praise for stories, has moved to social media and online forums. Those communities offer vibrant conversation and, importantly, are self-policed by participants to keep on the fringes those who would abuse the privilege of commenting.”

Colarusso concluded: “We value conversation about the news, but the idea of comments on a website must give way to new realities of behaviour in the marketplace. The best place for this conversation is where it is open to the largest number of participants possible.”

Recently Guardian chief executive Andrew Miller called on Google, Facebook and Twitter to take more editorial responsibility over what their platforms publish.

Meanwhile in September, YouTube’s most followed account, PewDiePie, also ditched comments as he felt it was predominantly spam and self-promotional content.

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