31 votes

Citing Trolls, 'Popular Science' Website Shuts Down Comments


The online content director for PopularScience.com announced Tuesday that the website will no longer accept comments on new articles, saying a small but vocal minority of "shrill, boorish specimens of the lower Internet phyla" were ruining it for everyone else.

We're all familiar with that deep, dark rabbit hole of Internet comment boards. A negative or critical comment sparks a firestorm of debate until the discussion erodes into a cavalcade of insults and personal attacks. Once you finally snap back to reality, you realize you've often strayed so far from the original story that it's often difficult to find your way back.

This distracting nature of online comments is part of the reason Popular Science, the venerable 141-year-old science and technology publication, declared that it would be shutting its comment boards down.


- - - -

What do you think guys? Should we shut down comments here too?

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

UNpopular UNscientific propaganda rag

... global warming fraud peddlers
... 911 official lie apologists
Yellow journalism scumbag traitors !!!!!




submit drawings only !

HuffPost comments

HuffPost comments are pretty much dead now also. The front page is completely stuffed with trivia and celebrity gossip. Since the gov't shutdown the only discussion is just how insane GOPers are.

Dang - I was hoping to waste all day on popsci.com...

instead of dailypaul.com...

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

LoL -- They don't like their 'doctrines' being challenged.

They really said that.

"...because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories..."


We can't have anyone questioning our global warming indoctrination and stuff.

FWIW, PS isn't the only "MSM" shutting down comments. Others are removing them from below articles and opening discussion forums.
Control the message?

Trolls? Everytime I went

Trolls? Everytime I went there and read the comments, I didnt see any trolls. I saw a bit of debate sometimes, but never actual outright trolling. I didnt frequent the site alot though.

I think I am going to need to see some evidence of this or I think I will just outright dismiss this as them trying to stop comments they didnt like that much.
I do find it highly ironic that debate and exchange of information is the basis of science and learning, yet here is a science magazine that has decided to kill it. I am sure they will get alot of backlash for this.

Scientific American does have some great articles and stories on stuff. However, yes, they are definitly biased towards things like gun control(que Shermer) and climate change. Now, I do think we are affecting the climate, but the exact effects are only a best guess currently yet it gets preached as gospel. I never understood how you can have models only taking into account a few of the variables needed and then being sure that the results are concrete.
I mean only recently did a weather foecast use a model that took into account a large weather system halfway across the globe when predicting where a hurricane would move. They do the same sort of thing with climate models, failing to account for more than a few variables that should be. To quote Shermer, I would call this bad science.(I may be wrong, but I think more recently someone decided they needed to take into account all the man made pools of water around the world when dealing with sea level rise; are you kidding me?! its ommisions like this that make this science anything but accurate; the amount of water retained by humans in various places is anything but trivial; could have been to do with water added to the atmosphere instead of sea level though, I am unsure)

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.


No Comment.


Exercise Liberty!

America Rising.
The Constitution Stands.

"That the pen is mightier than the sword would be proven false; if I should take my sword and cut off the hand that holds the pen" - American Nomad

Just guessing, but it was

Just guessing, but it was probably "intelligent design" trolls.

I can guarandamntee

I can guarandamntee that they shut the forums down because the 'trolls' were using science and facts to undermine PS's toe-the-line anthropogenic global warming hoax. Rather convenient that it was shut down once all the data became public that the earth stopped warming over sixteen years ago. Best regards from Chile, Ellie Dee.

Hugs from Chile.

I think that getting rid of comments would ruin the site

While I dislike the trolls as much as the next guy I think the comments are the lifeblood of the Daily Paul without them the forum could die.

VALIDATED: Evolution and the origins of climate change

Would not want to make a comment or something to "erode the popular consensus" on these topics. Sounds like Popular Science sovietized their site. Strikes me as bull4^%&^% weird move. Hope readership gets murdered.

Afternoon bump...

...just because!

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

"shrill, boorish specimens of the lower Internet phyla"

And who is boorish?

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Michael Nystrom's picture

Morning bump

Let's not become the Huffington Post here - Where every comment

...is censored before being allowed (or not allowed) on their stupid site.

Remember what Dr. Paul said (To paraphrase); Liberty means allowing people to do (or say) stupid things - it doesn't mean you ENDORSE the stupid things they may do. It just means you believe in their freedom to do them.

Take heart Michael. Stay the course and don't let a few idiots influence what you (and we) have here.

It's the greatest site for truth on the Internet.

But don't forget - to quote Dr. Paul again: "Truth is treason in the empire of lies."

Lots of people can't handle the truth and will lash out when the truth strikes a nerve.

But don't worry - we'll let them have it when it's called for.

If we budge, and change how things are done here, then they will have won and will end up having the last laugh.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

I don't know a thing about that site.

But I do know they're not the Daily Paul!

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

also, i think they're doing

also, i think they're doing this because they're dept of defense jockstrap sniffers and can't handle or respond to the serious scientific objections to the stories they're committed to defending. they should ban open comments, and just admit defeat. wouldn't want to have that blatant odor of treason hanging around all the time either. journalists ought to be able to just lie for a living like the half the rest of the world without public oversight.

really, 9/11 has been uninteresting since at least 2006, when the case was beyond reasonable doubt to any thinking person who seriously reviewed the evidence. at this point it is only interesting to newcomers to the information.

Some restrained moderation

Some restrained moderation may be in order at times, but any site I come to that doesn't allow open comments, I just leave, lose all interest. Unless its some site I've sought out, where there is a stated agenda, and no pretense of objectivity.

When I come on some site that pretends objectivity and they have no open comments, I just feel they can't handle criticism, can't handle contradiction, want to live in a bubble... it's the old way of doing things and will die out.

Even the grey lady allows comments, albeit moderated.

The standard of moderation ought to be an objective criteria that can be applied to everyone without regard for the content of the opinion. Even the most controversial point of view can be approached delicately and put in terms that don't offend, or sully the reputation of the host.

The more wild the opinion, perhaps the higher the standard of delicacy.


All these relationships....based on interaction here. All the good ideas made better. All the stuff that gets promoted that wouldn't find another venue.

That would gut it.

And all those people/agencies that read here to find out what "we" are thinking....

Man...that would pretty much shut it down.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

but seriously

but seriously, isn't the name itself somewhat of an oxymoron- popular, and science? insinuating science is some kind of popularity contest? What does that name even mean...

we love paintball - Deadlywind paintball and 68Sports paintball

Popular Science as a magazine

Popular Science as a magazine has been around for 141 years. How long have you been around?

not fully related but

I've long called that mag "popular hypotheses"

we love paintball - Deadlywind paintball and 68Sports paintball

in honor of

in honor of the recently deceased popsci comments section, I will vehemently disagree with you and proceed insinuate your affiliation with the nazi party! ;)

we love paintball - Deadlywind paintball and 68Sports paintball

In other words - they're going out of business?

90% of the story is in the comments, so this is like they're having a 90%-off sale.

Daily Paul cured my abibliophobia.

"Should we shut down comments here too?"

No, since conversation can and does spark ideas and creates a sense of community based on common ground.

Personally, I usually like how comments turn into their own mini-threads and arguments here, rather than reading dozens of detached replies to the original post.

I touched on this earlier, about how people running around calling outsiders and/or people they disagreed with 'trolls' at every opportunity would turn a given site into an echo chamber, and this just reenforces my opinion.

Not sure if you were being serious or not, but I felt like pulling out the old soapbox again anyway ^__^

A signature used to be here!

I agree ,

I hope this is not done, most of the fun of the site is commenting and posting.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

LOL! (Popular Science = TRASH.)

"What do you think guys? Should we shut down comments here too?"

I think you forgot to post this in the Humor category....

: )

Cheers, Mike!

What would the Founders do?

Science journalism is usually horrible

Legitimate science translates to popular culture and the mainstream media poorly. A lot of science is boring, technical, and complicated and is found in journals. By the time it makes it to the public outlets it is sensationalized and full of mistakes.

Also, when scientists when scientists are working in the laboratory, alternative medicine advocates are spamming blogs.

When scientists are lecturing in science courses or students are listening to lectures, alternative medicine advocates are spamming blogs.

On the Daily Paul, science is hated more than statism.

Cyril's picture

On the Daily Paul, science is hated more than statism.

On the Daily Paul, science is hated more than statism.

Well, not quite from this end, at least :






I do agree with this, that I feel holds (too) often:

By the time [science] makes it to the public outlets it is sensationalized and full of mistakes.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius