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Should DEV allow you to disable comments on your posts?

damcosset profile image Damien Cosset ・1 min read

There is the unsubscribe functionality that allow you to disengage from one of your articles, but should DEV take it a step further and allow us to disable comments altogether on a post?

I personally don't think we should have that possibility. In my experience, DEV is a platform made of mostly respectful people who are able to have a civil conversation about most topics.

Of course, that's not always the case but I don't think you can prevent it from happening from time to time with that many users. Even though I truly don't believe there has been many instances of it.

What do you think?

Discussion

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Personally I don't see the problem of giving someone that option if that's their preference.

 

Yeah, we've had this in discussion for a while and will most likely roll it out in some way, but just have not prioritized thinking through the entire implementation. We just want to hit the nuance of delivering the experience in the right way and provide the alternative options.

The logic being: It's your post. While it totally makes sense for the default to have comments on, we want to give folks agency in their own threads. This is why we have the ability to hide comments and block users. Because we already have some tooling, we haven't wanted to rush this, but I suspect that we'll close the loop on this in an upcoming cycle. With Forem rolling out, we just want to make sure we're doing everything in a way that will apply gracefully to all of the communities and we've been more busy with some of the underlying work.

 

I'm not convinced disabling comments is a good option for DEV where it's all about the community and where the moderation is efficient.

Forem is by definition more generic and is meant to cater to the needs of other types of communities, so it would probably make sense there, e.g. in a forum dealing with controversial subjects or a small forum with few moderators.

Because it's a good option for Forem doesn't mean it's a good option for DEV. If only a few authors disable comments it won't have much impact. If it becomes widespread, we won't have a community anymore.

Maybe it could be made a configuration option? Allow Forem admins to activate/desactivate it for their community, while keeping DEV discussions alive?

 

A lot of vendor forums I participate in lack the feature. So, the number of times where some rando unearths a thread that petered out 1-5 years prior is more than I can count on my fingers and toes. It's always like "holy thread-resurrection, Batman!" Two times it's really annoying are:
1) Someone has a question about something that EOL'ed during the previous quiet period
2) When the vendor has hired someone new and have told their new person, "go participate with our community" and the newhire thinks resurrecting threads fulfills that mandate

 

I'd be a fan of having the option to time-lock posts. While I'm generally interested in conversations on a topic I've posted, that interest is not-quite-fleeting. Which is to say, if my post is a year+ old, I've probably moved on from wanting to discuss it.

A straight-up lock isn't necessary, but being able to set some kind of "start moderating on YYYYMMDD" might be handy.

 

Personally I believe all comments should be allowed, whether they are positive or negative, outright toxic or discriminatory. They would be removed due to violation of terms eventually. If they happen to include social media or business links on their profile, well, that's quite unfortunate :)

But at the same time I can understand there are people that don't have the mental and emotional fortitude to see these kinds of comments and simply scroll past, and of course if people see toxic comments everywhere they might decide it's not the right community for them.

 

Dev.To is not just a content platform like Medium.
It's a community of developers who come together to create a better experience.

I believe the comment system is great to have both constructive criticism and praise.

I don't see a need of disabling the comments.

 

Why do you want to publish publicly in the first place if you are not willing to accept comments?

 

I could see instances where it makes sense!

For instance, I think it would be a valuable option to have if you were in the position where you wanted to post something particularly sensitive and would like to prevent any potential abusive comments before they happen.

 

I have a better idea: If you have sensitive information, don't post them publicly. Otherwise, there's no point in muting others especially here in a community based on sharing.

 

While I understand why Dev.to wants to provide the option in terms of giving us full control of our posts, it does feel like it takes away from the essence of Dev.to. From what I understand, Dev.to is built on a community of sharing. If you disable comments on your post, you are essentially closing yourself off from the community sharing with you.

 

I think you would encourage a much worse type of post. On a platform where comments are enabled, we all know that anything we write is open to scrutiny from a wide range of viewpoints. It forces people to write in ways that are a little more empathic and open to a broader range of opinions.

Without comments we might see more posts that are filled with a little more opinion, bias and vitriol, as there are no repercussions at all.

 

Don't really see the point. In fact a lot of time the different opinions in the comments are even more interesting than the article itself.
Why would you share your opinion with the world but ignore all other opinions (good or bad).
The only point I see here is: People would like to have that traffic on their Twitter/IG/blog...

But I use DEV because I like the concept of DEV ... I'm not interested at all to check everyones Twitter/IG/Blog

 

i love the comment it makes you nervous and happy at the same time

 

I wouldn't like an article/tutorial with comments disabled. Don't trust it too much if it doesn't allow feedback. It could be total BS and not be able to say anything about it.

 
  1. No
  2. An admin should delete all comments on this post and lock commenting, as a monument to why