The end of comments

Popular Science is shutting off comments.

Comments can be bad for science. That’s why, here at, we’re shutting them off.

It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter.

You should read the rest, and especially if you make or read comments here. Yes, in our moments of frustration, we have considered shutting off comments at TIE. Rest assured, we have no plans at the moment to do so.

Also, I might as well tell you, we’ve implemented a comment moderation rotation so that those of us who find reading comments especially taxing* only have to do so a couple of days a week. The upshot is that you should not expect that the author of the post you may be addressing will read your comment. It’s for this reason that we’re responding less, which you may have noticed.**

Sorry about that. It’s not itself a commentary on your comments; many are very good. It’s a commentary on the growing volume of both signal and noise. It’s tragedy of the commons. Most of all, it’s the price of sanity and productivity.

* Ahem, that’d be me.

** Best way to engage us, frankly, is on Twitter.


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