I was working at Vice in 2016 when they decided to turn comments off on articles. It wasn’t a shock. Motherboard -- Vice’s tech and science vertical -- had made the switch a year before. And, to be honest, I was relieved by the news.
A post by then editor-in-chief Jonathan Smith mirrored my feelings. He explained that too often the section devolved into “racist, misogynistic maelstroms where the loudest, most offensive, and stupidest opinions get pushed to the top and the more reasoned responses drowned out in the noise".
This wasn't an unpopular opinion. Over the last decade comments sections -- let alone well-functioning ones -- have become an endangered species.