Why We Skip Articles and Videos That Don’t Allow Comments

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No comment, no read or watch

In today’s digital world, the ability to comment on articles and videos is more than just a feature—it’s a necessity. The restriction of this capability not only hinders user engagement but also compromises the core principles of a free and dynamic online community. Here are four popular reasons why comments are crucial and why content that doesn’t allow them often gets skipped.

1. Freedom of Speech

The Internet is a global platform that thrives on the free exchange of ideas. Comments sections are vital spaces where individuals can voice their opinions, share personal experiences, and engage in debates. Restricting comments is akin to stifling the fundamental right to free speech. When readers or viewers encounter content without the option to comment, it signals a one-way communication channel where their voices aren’t valued or welcomed. This lack of reciprocity can deter them from engaging with the content altogether.

2. Community Building and Dialogue

Comments foster a sense of community among readers and viewers. They enable users to connect over shared interests, form relationships, and engage in meaningful discussions. When comments are disabled, the opportunity for communal interaction is lost. Content becomes a static experience rather than a dynamic conversation. For many, the allure of online content lies in the ability to interact with others who have similar passions or differing perspectives. Without this interaction, the content often feels incomplete and isolating.

3. Accountability and Transparency

Open comment sections hold content creators accountable. They provide a platform for users to question, critique, and fact-check the information presented. This public scrutiny is essential for maintaining the credibility and transparency of content. When comments are disabled, it can lead to suspicions about the intentions behind the content. Are the creators trying to avoid criticism? Are they unwilling to engage with their audience? These questions can significantly undermine trust and deter users from engaging with the content.

4. Real-Time Feedback and Improvement

Comments offer invaluable feedback for content creators. They highlight what resonates with the audience, what needs improvement, and what topics are generating the most interest. This real-time feedback is crucial for creators to refine their work and better cater to their audience’s needs. Disabling comments cut off this direct line of communication, making it harder for creators to gauge audience reactions and improve their content. For users, the absence of a comments section can signal a lack of responsiveness and adaptability on the part of the creators, making the content less appealing.

Sensitive Topics and Open Dialogue

Even on sensitive topics, comments should be allowed. Discussions surrounding these issues are often the most necessary, fostering understanding and promoting diverse perspectives. When news organizations like CBC News turn off comments on their videos, it feels like an attempt to control the narrative and avoid accountability. This approach can alienate viewers who feel their voices are being stifled. So when one of their latest YouTube videos came out “How the West’s plan to punish Russian oil backfired | About That“, do yourself a favor, just skip it.

Unfortunately, CBC News is not alone in this practice. Many major news outlets, including CNN, BBC, and The New York Times, have also been known to disable comments on certain articles and videos. While they may argue that this is to prevent harassment or misinformation, it often feels like an excuse to avoid confronting challenging viewpoints and maintaining control over their content.

In the digital age, comment sections are not mere add-ons; they are fundamental to the online experience. They uphold the principles of freedom of speech, foster community building, ensure accountability, and provide essential feedback. Content that disables comments sends a message that user engagement is not a priority, leading many to skip such articles and videos in favor of more interactive and inclusive alternatives. For a thriving and dynamic online ecosystem, open comments are not just beneficial—they are essential. Organizations like CBC News should not hide behind their own agenda in information dissemination but should embrace open dialogue, even on sensitive topics, to build trust and credibility with their audience.