Popular Science shuts down comments in (yet another) bid to silence skeptics

NPR reports:

The online content director for PopularScience.com announced Tuesday that the website will no longer accept comments on new articles, saying a small but vocal minority of “shrill, boorish specimens of the lower Internet phyla” were ruining it for everyone else…

LaBarre says the often politically motivated debates erode the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics, such as evolution and the origins of climate change. She says that on occasion they will still open the comments section on select articles that “lend themselves to vigorous and intelligent discussion.” The windows of communication will also remain open on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and the hope is that readers will still chime in there.

“Don’t do it for us. Do it for science,” she says.

Read more…

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12 responses to “Popular Science shuts down comments in (yet another) bid to silence skeptics

  1. As a scientific journal of sorts they should welcome all sides of he argument. Global Warming or aka Man Made Climate Change has always been a theory and hence not proven to be absolute. In the pursuit of truth, they into political argument.

    What ever happen to the teaching of the Scientific Method, critical thinking and logic?

  2. Well, it IS “POPULAR”, as opposed to real science. What happens when AGW supporters becomes unpopular? Oh wait, we may already be there, at least in the Pop Sci comments section.

  3. Check the comments. Discussion and comments on science articles are beyond the public and reserved for the lofty heights of peer review, where only real scientists are worthy to tread.
    Apparently if you disagree with Pop Sci, you be a troll as shown in the NPR cartoon, no matter what your education or experience may be.

  4. I’d guess this has less to do with censorship than it does with cutting server costs for a failing website. “Trolls ruined it” is always the excuse proffered by people who can’t afford, or just can’t be bothered to mediate their forums.

  5. Evil is the imposition of silence upon others…..James P. Carse

  6. cretins, they are just cretins

  7. Nobody shuts off commentary when it favors them. Several years ago at a 4×4 vehicle forum’s off-topic section, a guy started a thread with the alleged premise of being ‘confused’ over elements of AGW, but it was soon obvious his bits were pro-Al Gore propaganda. Toward the end when everyone could tell things weren’t going his way, he began systematically deleting his posts, and then deleted the original post, which then erased the entire thread. I was in the process of responding to a couple of posts right before it disappeared, with more than one tab open to it, so I was able to get this screencapture: http://oi40.tinypic.com/2wps38j.jpg 10,822 views with 655 responses.The guy later explained in a different thread post, “it was the most idiotic thread possible. 63 pages of cut-paste, and condescending pontificating, that didnt really address my original post, so i just deleted all my posts.”

    A safe wager would be that the commentary at Popular Science was beginning to stack up in a manner that greatly undermined their pro-AGW position…… and they don’t want anybody to see that anymore.

  8. That whole explanation of why they shut down the message boards is basically “science is for the elites and the ‘little people’ shouldn’t be involved”. This is the true face of environmentalisim: if they don’t like what you have to say, they will try to silence you. Real, valid scientific theories can withstand skepticisim, be it polite or rude; the only reason to shut down a message board like this is that the man-made warming theory is so fragile that the slightest amount of independent critical thinking about it will expose it as the fraud that it is.

    • That whole explanation of why they shut down the message boards is basically “science is for the elites and the ‘little people’ shouldn’t be involved”.

      With the “patricians” being assumed “experts” and the “plebeians” being assumed “fools”. Regardless if some of the “plebs” actually understand “science” very well…

      Real, valid scientific theories can withstand skepticisim, be it polite or rude;

      Since an important attribute of scientific theories is “falsification” you’d expect skeptical thinking to be a major part of the scientific process.

      It’s also possible to be “too close” to an issue to see the context clearly.

  9. So now even people who agree with them can’t have their say.
    Stupid is as stupid does.

  10. Trying to keep the pendulum far to one side just saps your energy and increases the chance you get squished when it breaks free.
    And the left already know how effective trolling can be with the low info types.

  11. I read the Yahoo! newsfeed and they post quite a few articles from “Live Science” which are ALL AGW propaganda. Most of the comments on the posts are critical so it seems that even on warmist sites like Yahoo the people are starting to wise up.

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