01 April 2008

So Long And Thanks For The Fish

SCOTUS Blog has disabled its comment feature after determining that contentious discussions in the comments did not add to the quality of the site.

I made regular comments there, so I will miss the feature. My comments were my usual rather benign and pedantic fare, which I'm quite comfortable were not a main cause for killing the feature, but so it goes. Some comments were certainly more heated, and some comments were certainly uninformed (the two categories did not always overlapped, there were some very heated yet informed comments, and some benign but uninformed comments) and the feature as a whole provided more smoke than light. Commenters where referred to other sites that have comment dialog as a more central purpose.

I have no problem with elitism is that is what the proprietors are interested in offering and like the How Appealing blog, SCOTUS blog is not a site where the discussion is a main attraction. SCOTUS blog has a very large following, but very few people routinely comment there. Overall, comments are far more often a feature of liberal blogs than conservative ones, but there are very few places where lively bipartisan political and legal discussion are carried on in the way that they were at SCOTUS blog so it is not surprising that the feature was difficult to manage.

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