ET community comment feature for articles published (and republished) in ET

8 replies

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 98

I recall the excuses/reasons by ET editors for not allowing comment features for certain articles published (or republished) on ET websites, including those commercial/advertorial kinds and somehow many of the Bloomberg articles does not allow comments to be posted either.

But when this practice covers ET exclusive articles (eg Asia Miles article), I am perplexed.

Is ET that concerned about negative (but honest) comments that may affect its prospects of securing future exclusive interviews or access or commercial product placement? Should it stop subediting some comments posted on ET or merging forum without notice?

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 608

XWu not sure all negative comments are honest (honestly held is different), and based on evidence. There are legal obligations for allowing all sorts of stuff to be published. This site has allowed defamatory comments through in the past but not so lately which to me is a good thing.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 98

Originally Posted by patrickk

XWu not sure all negative comments are honest (honestly held is different), and based on evidence. There are legal obligations for allowing all sorts of stuff to be published. This site has allowed defamatory comments through in the past but not so lately which to me is a good thing.

Patrickk, I suppose positive comments may similarly be dishonest on the flip side of the coin but you are right about some negative comments can be considered defamatory but in a open forum this is the risk the webmaster would have to take, but he also have the ability to censor posts, but I much rather simply blocking out the content of the posts (replaced by a sign saying the content of the post was removed due to infringement of the rules blah blah) rather than removing the entire post leaving no trace of it being written at all. The former serves as a warning to others that the webmaster have the final say, the latter pretend the problem of false accusations and defamatory and inflammatory remarks did not exist and we are one big happy family.

Furthermore there's enough evidence that some ego bruise more easily than others and when it deteriorates to a shouting match (mostly on one side) while the other tries to remain civil and engaging, it is obvious who is behaving badly.

Unfortunately there are enough gap in ideology, perception and perspectives even within such a small community of ET regular readers and commentators such that discussion on contentious topics gets heated quickly.

If ET wants to avoid conflicts then the following should be officially gazetted as off limits at ET

Qantas vs Virgin Blue/Virgin Australia/Virgin Mark ii

REx vs any airline or government aid

The merits (or not) of Australia's international border control during COVID-19 pandemic

The merits (or not) of various state border control during COVID-19 pandemic

The merits (or not) of COVID-19 vaccine types, mandatory vaccination, effectiveness

Flying on Boeing 737 max

But it would make ET a pretty damn boring website and there's a few alternatives offering similar travel related news for the discerning frequent flyers

Last editedby XWu at Jul 10, 2021, 06:52 PM.
Last editedby XWu at Jul 10, 2021, 06:59 PM.

CBRQF

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Jul 2011

Total posts 50

If you do not like the way the owners of this site run their own site, then you have a choice not to use their product/service. Or you are welcome to create your own competitor. In fact, they don't even need to give their reasons for the decisions they make.

Grannular

Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 219

I have noticed that a lot of articles don't allow comments as well. I feel it reduces audience engagement. I just assumed they didn't want to moderate too many articles.

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 1,002

Hi Xwu, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on this so we can reply.

"But when this practice covers ET exclusive articles (eg Asia Miles article), I am perplexed. Is ET that concerned about negative (but honest) comments that may affect its prospects of securing future exclusive interviews or access or commercial product placement?"

We have absolutely no concern about comments negatively impacting our relationship with airlines (for example) when it comes to interviews or access to story opportunities, and especially not with regard to advertising.

There are websites which don't allow comments on any article; there are sites (more often blogs) which allow comments under every article; and there are sites which allow comments selectively, on some articles but not all. As Executive Traveller's audience has grown in size, I've leant towards the later approach.

Our perspective on comments is that they need to be on topic, they need to add value to the conversation, and of course they must respect other members (ie not attack them, and if they have a difference of opinion, to make a civil reasoned argument of that difference rather than sledge the person).

Unfortunately, too often I'm seeing comments which among other things veer quickly and widely off topic (a fave is for any article citing travel restrictions of vaccinations to become a soapbox for some members repeating ad nauseam the same tired opinions which are better suited to their own social media pages, and their comments sparking further argument back-and forth); as well as some low-value or no-value comments which don't really add anything to the article.

Leaving comments open on all articles unlocks the floodgates and then we have to wade in to clean things up, moderate / delete comments etc, which takes time and focus away from our actual job of creating the content for which people come to Executive Traveller in the first place.

We can and do sometimes enable comments and hold them for moderation, but this then puts on onus back on us to monitor comments and make the decision each time on if it's suitable or not.

Those are some reasons why comments are these days selectively enabled on some but not all articles. The Executive Traveller team put effort into crafting useful, original and unique stories, and I don't believe it's too much to expect that reader comments are also thoughtful and considered (I know yours are).

patrickk

Qantas

Member since 19 Apr 2012

Total posts 608

Originally Posted by XWu

Originally Posted by patrickk

XWu not sure all negative comments are honest (honestly held is different), and based on evidence. There are legal obligations for allowing all sorts of stuff to be published. This site has allowed defamatory comments through in the past but not so lately which to me is a good thing.

Patrickk, I suppose positive comments may similarly be dishonest on the flip side of the coin but you are right about some negative comments can be considered defamatory but in a open forum this is the risk the webmaster would have to take, but he also have the ability to censor posts, but I much rather simply blocking out the content of the posts (replaced by a sign saying the content of the post was removed due to infringement of the rules blah blah) rather than removing the entire post leaving no trace of it being written at all. The former serves as a warning to others that the webmaster have the final say, the latter pretend the problem of false accusations and defamatory and inflammatory remarks did not exist and we are one big happy family.

Furthermore there's enough evidence that some ego bruise more easily than others and when it deteriorates to a shouting match (mostly on one side) while the other tries to remain civil and engaging, it is obvious who is behaving badly.

Unfortunately there are enough gap in ideology, perception and perspectives even within such a small community of ET regular readers and commentators such that discussion on contentious topics gets heated quickly.

If ET wants to avoid conflicts then the following should be officially gazetted as off limits at ET

Qantas vs Virgin Blue/Virgin Australia/Virgin Mark ii

REx vs any airline or government aid

The merits (or not) of Australia's international border control during COVID-19 pandemic

The merits (or not) of various state border control during COVID-19 pandemic

The merits (or not) of COVID-19 vaccine types, mandatory vaccination, effectiveness

Flying on Boeing 737 max

But it would make ET a pretty damn boring website and there's a few alternatives offering similar travel related news for the discerning frequent flyers

Last editedby XWu at Jul 10, 2021, 06:52 PM.
Last editedby XWu at Jul 10, 2021, 06:59 PM.
XWu I’ve seen not very flattering assessments of both head of Qantas and Rex and occasionally Virgin which verge on very close to defamatory and it is only those concerned have shallow pockets that they were not carried through (yes egos being bruised) but it is a big ask for ET to carry the risk.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 98

Originally Posted by David

Hi Xwu, and thanks for sharing your thoughts on this so we can reply.

"But when this practice covers ET exclusive articles (eg Asia Miles article), I am perplexed. Is ET that concerned about negative (but honest) comments that may affect its prospects of securing future exclusive interviews or access or commercial product placement?"

We have absolutely no concern about comments negatively impacting our relationship with airlines (for example) when it comes to interviews or access to story opportunities, and especially not with regard to advertising.

There are websites which don't allow comments on any article; there are sites (more often blogs) which allow comments under every article; and there are sites which allow comments selectively, on some articles but not all. As Executive Traveller's audience has grown in size, I've leant towards the later approach.

Our perspective on comments is that they need to be on topic, they need to add value to the conversation, and of course they must respect other members (ie not attack them, and if they have a difference of opinion, to make a civil reasoned argument of that difference rather than sledge the person).

Unfortunately, too often I'm seeing comments which among other things veer quickly and widely off topic (a fave is for any article citing travel restrictions of vaccinations to become a soapbox for some members repeating ad nauseam the same tired opinions which are better suited to their own social media pages, and their comments sparking further argument back-and forth); as well as some low-value or no-value comments which don't really add anything to the article.

Leaving comments open on all articles unlocks the floodgates and then we have to wade in to clean things up, moderate / delete comments etc, which takes time and focus away from our actual job of creating the content for which people come to Executive Traveller in the first place.

We can and do sometimes enable comments and hold them for moderation, but this then puts on onus back on us to monitor comments and make the decision each time on if it's suitable or not.

Those are some reasons why comments are these days selectively enabled on some but not all articles. The Executive Traveller team put effort into crafting useful, original and unique stories, and I don't believe it's too much to expect that reader comments are also thoughtful and considered (I know yours are).

@David

Thank you for your considered reply and I also acknowledge another reader's response about the web owner have the right to do whatever they want (that was never in dispute)

I understand it takes time and energy to maintain the forum and frankly I get tired reading the same old arguments (often baseless or biased) justifying one stance or another, and I wouldn't envy anyone who have to screen some inflammatory posts and decide on their merits.

I would appreciate it if there is more obvious way of identifying which article are open to reader response (sure it may result some people like me not reading the article, but often I am interested in reader response than the article content, which may have been featured elsewhere) since I cannot find a consistency (from my point of view anyway) in which certain article features written by in-house authors allows or disallow reader feedback.


Last editedby XWu at Jul 16, 2021, 12:10 PM.

ryanpst

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 27 Jun 2013

Total posts 69

David - +1 for not turning off comments so often. Quite often I see articles where I'd like to say something, but comments are turned off. It now means I visit your site much less than I used to. I've gone from maybe weekly reading to perhaps once a month?

Last editedby Chris Chamberlin at Jul 19, 2021, 09:19 AM.

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