Why Police1 is turning off our comments section
By Police1 Team
We have always valued community on Police1. So many of our decisions about editorial content and site features are made with the primary consideration of what purpose they will serve to elevate both the experience of our reader community and the law enforcement profession.
Article comments have been a valuable tool for creating a dialogue on important issues and allowing us to take the pulse of our readership. We have devoted great effort to moderation of our comments section, aiming for the right balance of conversation in which readers can exchange tricks of the trade, debate current events and share a joke, while avoiding overtly offensive or counterproductive discussions. We’ve strived to avoid heavy-handed moderation, and our comments have yielded many inspiring exchanges.
But within the past year, we have far more regularly found and removed comments that are in violation of our commenting policy. Beyond that, we are encountering comments representing beliefs that – while reflective of real and justifiable frustration – are not at place within a professional forum that represents law enforcement, and were they to be viewed by outside parties, could significantly damage the reputation of the profession and Police1.
With this in mind, we are removing comments from Police1 as a reflection of several factors:
- Whereas article comments once represented the best – or only – forum for reader discussions, there are now other forums well suited for such exchanges. Our social media properties allow for lively discussion of law enforcement news and issues. Many professional-oriented media sites have made similar decisions to redirect discussions away from a comment section to social media, given those platforms are tailored for user transparency and interaction in a way most sites are not.
- Moderation of a commenting community as active as Police1’s requires an abundance of staff time. And with the increase in comments that violate our policy, we simply do not have enough time available to keep pace.
- As we consider the challenges currently facing law enforcement, and Police1’s role in helping the industry navigate productively through these times, the contents of many comments on the site risk threatening that mission.
This is not a decision we have made lightly. We sincerely appreciate the time, energy, creativity and passion our comment writers have brought to the site over the years.
This decision is also not a judgment of the sentiments expressed, nor a suggestion that readers shouldn’t be frustrated about the current trends impacting law enforcement. It is merely a reflection of the fact that our comment section is no longer the right forum for voicing certain sentiments.
We continue to believe in the importance of a two-way conversation with readers, so with the removal of comments, we will be increasing efforts to solicit and represent perspectives on a variety of issues. We have increased the number of polls, surveys and calls for contributions, and will continue to explore formats and features that allow us to bring your thoughts and concerns to a broader audience. We frequently receive and continue to encourage article ideas or coverage requests, and often act upon them.