Erie Times-News discontinues online article commenting. Find GoErie.com on social media
Hopefully you'll agree that public discussion and civil debate are crucial to a well-informed society.
We know that Erie Times-News and GoErie.com readers are aware of things that we aren't. You come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. We’re all better off when we can hear each other and learn from different perspectives. That’s why the USA TODAY Network invested in extensive research and testing with the Center for Media Engagement before deciding to enable comments on hundreds of news sites in 2020.
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But for all their benefits, we know ― and certainly you've noticed, too ― that any online comments section can quickly devolve when left unmonitored. We wanted to be different. Involvement from our journalists in the discussion and moderating when things got off track helped us provide a better experience.
However, starting Feb. 1, the “View Comments” button will disappear from articles on GoErie.com.
While we'll always believe in the importance of comments, we had to make the difficult choice to move away from article-page commenting because of changes in staffing and the time investment necessary to bring you a moderated, spam-free, productive discussion space. We won't risk discussions veering off track or people being verbally attacked. With this change, we’ll continue to focus on exclusive local reporting and finding new and exciting ways to tell your stories.
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We still want to hear from you and invite you to follow and interact with GoErie.com and individual journalists on social media or to click on the byline on any article to send an email and feedback directly to the reporter. We also accept letters to the editor for consideration; email letters of 250 or fewer words to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and the city or town where you live. We can't promise to print your letter, but when letters are published they appear on Sundays in The Commons opinion section and in the Sunday Times-News enewspaper.
We look forward to continuing to serve you and all of northwestern Pennsylvania in 2023 and beyond.
Matt Martin is the executive editor of the Erie Times-News and the USA Today Network's western Pennsylvania region. He can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Erie Times-News ends online article commenting effective Feb. 1