A rev­o­lu­tion is at hand, and the con­se­quences could fun­da­men­tally change the iden­tity of the Internet — or, more pre­cisely, your iden­tity within it.

Web­sites and social net­works are increas­ingly changing the struc­ture of their com­ments sec­tions in an attempt to breathe civility back into what many see as the Wild West of the Web. Some pub­li­ca­tions have moved to tie user names to public pro­files, while others have adopted sys­tems that pro­mote rel­e­vant com­ments over recent ones. Still others have gotten rid of com­menting altogether.

Last fall, Pop­ular Sci­ence made the deci­sion to kill its com­ment sec­tions, citing a recent study that showed uncivil com­ments not only polarize readers but often change their inter­pre­ta­tion of a given news story. The 141-​​year-​​old mag­a­zine went so far as to claim “com­ments can be bad for science.”

Read the article at USA Today →