We feel strongly that public discussion and civil debate are crucial to our society.
We know that you, our readers, know things that we don’t. You come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. We’re all better when we can hear each other and learn from different perspectives. That’s why the USA TODAY Network invested in extensive research and testing with the Center for Media Engagement before deciding to enable comments on our news sites in 2020.
But for all their benefits, we also know that comment sections across the internet can quickly devolve when they’re left unmonitored. We wanted to be different. Involvement from our journalists in the discussion and moderating when things got off track helped us provide a better experience.
Now, it’s time for a reset and we are hitting pause. Starting Feb. 1, the “View Comments” button will disappear from our articles.
While we continue to believe in the importance of comments, we had to make the hard choice to move away from the space due to changes in staffing and the time investment necessary to bring you a safe, moderated and productive discussion space. We’re not willing to risk discussions veering off track or people being verbally attacked. With this change, we’ll continue to focus on exclusive, local reporting and finding new and exciting ways to tell your stories.
However, we still want to hear from you and invite you to follow us on social media (where you can still have discussions with others about our journalism) or click on the byline on any article to send an email and feedback directly to the reporter.
We look forward to continuing to serve you and our community in 2023.