What is a blog without comments? It would seem to defeat the whole purpose of a blog. The whole idea behind “web 2.0,” blogging, citizen journalism and the like is that communications should be social with user-generated content, contributions and exchanges by readers. A blog without comments is just an editorial column, or even someone’s rant.
So why would someone remove the option to comment form them blog? An even bigger question: why would they remove the option to comment from one blog and leave it on many others that the same organization runs?
Chances are that they’re not happy with the comments they’re getting. It can make a site look pretty bad when all the feedback shown publicly is heavily against their view. Worse still is when the comments contain effective counter arguments or point out factual errors. How do you deal with that?
Well apparently Greenpeace didn’t want to deal with it, because their anti-nuclear blog, called “nuclear reaction” has now gone comment-less. Even the previous comments have been expunged from the record.
Does this constitute censorship? That would seem to depend on whose definition of censorship you use. Regardless of whether it’s censorship, it’s certainly within the rights of Greenpeace to disable to comments on their own site, which they control and pay for the bandwidth on. This might be considered a good example of “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” because while they’re free to run their own site how they want, it’s not usually a good sign when you show that you can’t take any heat but are fully willing to dish it out or that you’re not willing to have your facts checked or statements questioned.