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July 29, 2014, 2:01 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: www.spokesman.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   July 29, 2014

What do newspaper editors think about the comments on their sites? They’re more supportive than you might imagine — given that dialogue around news site commenters usually centers on which circle of hell fits them best.

APME (Associated Press Media Editors — I still can’t get used to that name) did a survey of editors on the subject, which The Spokesman-Review’s Gary Graham wrote up. Among the findings:

— Killing comments entirely, while maybe a real microtrend, won’t be the norm anytime soon: 82 percent said it was either impossible or unlikely that their news org would do so. On the flip side, 17 percent said an end to comments was either likely or very likely at their shop.

— Almost half reported that their site’s commenters could remain anonymous.

— More than half hand over their comments to some outside platform, with Facebook the most popular and Disqus No. 2. Some who’d moved to Facebook comments reported a slight uptick in civility, though “others noted many commenters don’t seem concerned about the lack of anonymity.”

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