The Sewers of the Internet

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Goldblog reader Jeff Bergman writes, in reference to Michael Gerson's excellent column:

Here's a question -- has any good ever come out of the comments section of a major on-line content provider?  You don't provide a blackboard for every hater out there at the bottom of your blog -- why does the Washington Post think that it's a good idea?  Why not make these guys at least get their own damn blogs?

The thinking is that comments sections engage existing readers, and bring in new readers, especially the ones with big mouths. But I've only rarely read something in a comments section that was worthwhile. In my own case, I get enough anti-Semitism through e-mail; I'm not such a masochist that I would want to make myself even more available to douchebag Jew-haters.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/06/the-sewers-of-the-internet/19290/