5Striking up a Conversation

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In September 2013, the website editor of the venerable and respected American magazine Popular Science announced the site would be disabling its comments functions. Readers would no longer be able to comment on the site’s articles or blogs.

“It wasn’t a decision we made lightly,” wrote Suzanne LaBarre, the online content director. “As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter.” ...

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