Hey all, if you were around on Monday you'll know that I threw up a little poll on the homepage for most of the day. I also created a separate poll and threw it up on Facebook, so I'd have a good sense of the different audience's feelings. What we learned will come as a shock to a small group of you, but not to most of you.
People are sick and tired of the comments section. We've been hearing it for years, but in this survey (as well as the one done about a year ago) overwhelmingly people HATE the comment section and the racism, homophobia and bigotry that runs rampant there. Here are some highlights from users who took part in the survey:
"poisonous comment section... seriously, have you ever read through the comments on any video? You might as well just disable it."
"The community. The people in the comments are all clearly the scum pf the internet. All taking about pussy and fucking and totally going off topic. Its very off putting as a woman and i often dont visit the site as the community put me off."
"So much rampant abusive, racist, homophobic and bigoted language means that, as a lawyer, I'm typically reluctant to share links with friends, family or co-workers."
"The comment section are full of a bunch of social gratification retards that can't have a normal social interaction online. I would ban them all."
"The comment section needs to go. It's absolutely useless. Posting any type of comment guarantees you at least one or two vulgar and disgusting replies. You either need to hire more mods, or get rid of it completely."
While it may seem to a lot of the commenters that the staff and mods have picked on them in the last year, we actually worked to keep the comments feral. I personally have come under a lot of fire in allowing it to go on as long as I have, because I felt like it was the "eBaum's World Spirit" and what set the community apart. They may be assholes, but they're our assholes. But this isn't the case.
The "good old days before ZVUE" actually was a time where comments that weren't related to the feature were removed. Check out this old clip as Exhibit A: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/treadmill-pwnage/323144/. I can even see in the logs that they were deleting "bad language" and they used to perma-ban for "trolling." My point is, what people point back to as the days before censorship, were the most heavily censored period of the site.
So I want to hear from you guys in the comments about what you guys think we should do about the comments. There are certainly going to be a lot of people who will say "do nothing, there's nothing wrong with them" but that time has passed.
One way or another, the comments are going to change. What do you think we should do?
I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT GETTING RID OF THE COMMENTS.
I'm talking about reducing the harm of a very toxic minority. My goal is grow the community, and increase the number of comments, rather than cater to a group of people who's aim it is to make it an exclusive club.