Removal of comment sections

No, I have not yet removed the comment sections beneath the strips, but I am thinking about it. Tony Piro, the creator of the webcomic Calamities of Nature, has currently removed them giving the following reasons. And I’m feeling exactly the same way:

Removal of Comic Commenting

This was a hard decision for me, but I’ve decided to remove commenting from the comics. As more and more people visit this site, I’ve been becoming increasingly concerned about what I should do about comments. The original intent was to allow followup debate or feedback about the latest updates. And for the most part, this was being accomplished. But either because of the provocative topics I sometimes write about, or my own mismanagement of the comments, I was finding the discussions to be less and less constructive. If someone posts a dumb comment, what should I do? Delete it? I don’t want to appear as if I’m quashing debate or censoring certain opinions. Not to mention, there’s only so much time in a day, and I don’t want to waste it pulling my hair out, anguishing over which comments to delete. But if I don’t deal with it, it invites even more less-than-constructive counter comments. This was especially getting bad for some of the older comics in the archive, where many had built up long comment threads. I know most people are smart enough to separate the comments from my artistic expression, but at the same time, I still think it was reflecting poorly on my comic. For these reasons, I’ve removed the comments, at least for a time. In a couple of weeks, I’ll probably reassess the situation and decide whether to keep this change.

I still think that a comment section is a great way to get some feedback and to communicate with readers who want to ask a quick question. But just like Tony, I was (and still am) seriously annoyed by some of the comments the last strips with a political or ecological message have gotten.

Update: Apparently I’m not the only one who doesn’t like those comments. I guess my resentments against them can’t be totally wrong when random readers call them “absolutely ridiculous” and “badly written” on another website.

Click here to see the comments!