Why would someone that works on the online department of a newspaper arrive to a conference room for some brainstorming and suggest something like: "What if. We. Let our online readers...comment the news we post on our website?" (there´s no typos, that´s how I actually picture the man/woman saying that to a group of people seated on executive office chairs around a big table).
But the problem here is not the guy who came with this brilliant idea on his head and spent all day excited to present it. We all have bad ideas. No. The problem is the group of people around that big table that went: "But. That´s a brilliant idea!!! How we didn´t think of this before?! Brilliant! Let´s do it."
And off they went apply it.
Now I wonder if those same people who thought this would be a good idea actually give a read to the comments on the news that they write. Well, watching how well written are some pieces of "journalism" I see in some online newspapers I believe that they don´t even read their own texts to see if there´s any mistakes.
I usually take a look to two [Portuguese] online newspapers. One because I bought it during a period of time due to the free offer of a photography course and liked their work and a economic one that is available free of charge at my college (an interesting surprise) and that after getting it every day I started to enjoy their work too and now, on holidays, like I´m not there to get it I take a look at the website. I also tend to miss the news on television hence this look around the papers.
If you´re looking for a despicable laugh look no further than an article at any of these, or any other, newspaper that let post comments. I could tell you I have a ton of adjectives to try to describe how they look like but let´s just say "ridiculous" is pretty high on that list of adjectives. If you´re feeling down and really dumb and wondering if there is someone dumber than you take a look at those comments and you are as good as new. Sure that the executives thought about not letting some [cussing/rude] words be posted but they weren´t counting with the smartasses they would have posting at their websites would use such options as including @, _, !, and other smartasses tools to get around that restriction.
You would think that the economic one being sort of elitist and directed to a specific group would have good and clear comments. Forget it. And then they let people reply to others people comments which, obviously, being this world The Internet World, a discussion will 99% of the times end with 1) insults or 2) who has the biggest weener.
You would in fact think that this kind of newspapers would look up to the likes of The New York Times or The Guardian as international references often cited in their articles and follow the example of non-available comments. Despite some of the long [opinion] articles. Why? Smartasses won´t read that long to make an easy joke. Too much of a trouble. And probably contains words they never heard of.
And nowadays with everyone [read: newspapers] having a Facebook page and posting links to their news over there you would think they could leave the comments only to that platform. But no. Why? Let´s just say that Anonymous or any sort of smartass pseudonym is a way easier way to get your smartass point across. Be a smartass and show your real name and face is not that fun.