The website for 1A, a program on WAMU 88.5, American University Radio, which is Washington D.C.’s National Public Radio station, is closing its online comments section.
In a statement on its website, 1A’s executive producer, Rupert Allman, explained managing online comments is time-consuming and problematic. Instead, Allman pointed its audience to social media sites and e-mail.
“We don’t have endless resources. We cannot be everywhere. That makes it hard to moderate comments, and we have noticed that lewd bots have found a way in. On May 20, we’ll be shutting down our comments section,” Allman wrote. “Further, given the technical vulnerabilities on this platform and the limited number of users who comment, our plans for the new site do not include a comments section. That decision is not about shutting down debate. It’s an effort to have a better one; with more users and on platforms where users can be verified, and the bots can be called out and blocked.”
iMediaEthics has written to 1A for more information.