Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Internet Comments Still Suck: A Translation

Matt Burns and Elin Blesener of TechCrunch:

It was early 2011 and TechCrunch’s comment section was overrun with trolls.

It was a day of the week, and TechCrunch‘s comment section was overrun with trolls.

Bullies and asshats were drowning out our smart commenters.

Bullies and asshats are the only people who comment on TechCrunch.

We hated our commenters because, well, they hated us.

We still hate our commenters, as evidenced by the image we used to illustrate this post.

So we rolled out Facebook Comments in an attempt to silence the trolls — by removing their anonymity.

We don’t understand that assholes with a name are still assholes.

But we eventually discovered that our anti-troll tactic worked too well; The bullies and asshats left our comments sections, but so did everyone else.

Our precious ad revenue! Come back!

Now, several years later, after dozens of endless meetings and conference calls, we’ve decided we’re going to try out Livefyre instead of Facebook Comments.

We think the asshats of Livefyre are nicer than the asshats on Facebook. See above regarding ad revenue.

Frankly, our trial with Facebook Comments lasted way too long at too steep of a cost.

Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.

Sure, Facebook Comments drove extra traffic to the site, but the vast majority of our readers clearly do not feel the system is worthy of their interaction.

Facebook Comments drove less traffic to the site.

Some sites have killed comments altogether, turning instead to Twitter and aggregators for user interaction.

These sites are strangely more readable and more enjoyable. Coincidence? Well—

We want to know what you think about an article. Call out our typos, join the discussion, give us counterpoints — just don’t be a dick.

And Michael Arrington founded this site, so we know dicks. Boom!