The Daily Beast is exceptionally well named. I am fairly certain the reason I formed such a low opinion of the brand is because of how unpleasant if feels to spend time with its “community”. The place has been allowed to become a bear pit.
The laissez-fair policy on moderation of comments suggests they’re perfectly happy for discourse to be an unregulated free-for-all. And if that feels perfectly libertarian to you, imagine trying to order a drink during a bar brawl. If you think this type of freedom is what democracy is all about, remember that the democracy we lean on so liberally on happens to be enabled by rules and their coherent management by authorities we trust.
I wonder how Andrew Sullivan sees it, given that at the Atlantic he presided with apparent Zen-like stillness over a feedback-free zone. The comments in response to his latest Obama screed are an unpleasant and unholy, incoherent and barely literate mess. I disagree with his politics and hated the essay, but I appreciate the guy’s intent enough to know his copy deserves better.
I have been responsible for setting up commercial content areas in the past and in each instant I have insisted on unambiguous rules for the comment areas and strict moderation in keeping with the brand’s values. As the quality of the feedback increased this space has inevitably become a bonus for readers and an added value to the brand concerned. What makes The Daily Beast think it can preside over such a jungle for long and retain any credibility is beyond me.