The Verge is turning off their comments by default. Nilay Patel explains:
What we’ve found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since. It’s hard for us to do our best work in that environment, and it’s even harder for our staff to hang out with our audience and build the relationships that led to us having a great community in the first place.
I’d argue that Verge commenters have been needlessly negative since always, but that’s just my observation.
Patel promises that comments will be back later this year, so I’m not sure this is going to fix anything in the long term. They’re still leaving the discussion boards open, thereby simply burying the more toxic discussions a couple of clicks deeper. Why not make that change permanent, leaving the article pages without comments? Seems like it wins all around: the discussion remains, but it’s in a dedicated part of the site, making the stories feel less bloggy and more newsy.