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SI & MMQB doing away with comments sections

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This past Thursday, The MMQB made a pretty low-key announcement that comments will be turned off on all stories, effective July 1st.

It was later clarified that commenting will be turned off for all Sports Illustrated articles. When I first saw the news, it seemed pretty surprising. I thought to myself, “what would I do if SB Nation/Vox Media ever turned off commenting to Dawgs By Nature?” I’d probably strongly consider quitting — as much as I love writing about the Browns, I feel the strength of the site is the fact that I provide a platform for Browns fans to hold intelligent discussion and react to news live. Fortunately, SB Nation understands that and would never close off commenting.

Then, I began to re-consider my thoughts on what SI and the MMQB did after reading what Awful Announcing had to say on the matter. It has become habit of me to read comments after almost every article I read, but many of the national- or traditional-media sites’ comments section are filled with trolls and senseless or uninformed takes. I have to weed through the comments just to find one that is worth reading. If that’s the reaction I got on DBN, I’d probably think, “why am I doing this?”

SI’s Hot Clicks section did make note that their contract with the company that hosted their comments section expired June 30, so maybe the decision was more financial- and technical-based versus the actual quality in the comments section.

What do you think about a site like SI/MMQB closing off their comments section? Would it make you lose interest in their properties, or do you think it’s a good decision for sites like that?