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Only Moneyweb Gold subscribers will be able to comment under articles

The decision follows the deterioration of the quality of comments.
Image: Andrey Rudakov, Bloomberg

Moneyweb has been one of few South African online publishers to allow visitors to the website to post comments and questions under articles for free. We have always believed the views of our community members add value and different perspectives to the articles we publish.

However, over the past 12 months many of the comments have become extremely defamatory, racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and/or homophobic.

A few years ago, Moneyweb introduced a moderation process to try to weed out these comments. The system would flag any comment containing specific words or phrases for moderation. One of our editors would then read and moderate the post.

This is a labour-intensive and time-consuming process. Consequently, many community members have complained directly to me if their posts were not immediately approved after being flagged for moderation.

Unfortunately, the situation has become untenable. Moneyweb has seen a significant increase in the number of people visiting our various digital platforms, resulting in a similar rise in the number of comments.

This, in turn, has resulted in our moderation function becoming very laborious and resource-intensive.

One of the reasons for the deterioration of the quality of the comments is community members’ ability to post such comments under pseudonyms. It allows them to hide behind anonymity, and many feel this gives them licence to breach our code of conduct and just plain common decency.

Unfortunately, we cannot allow this situation to continue.

After significant debate in the newsroom, we decided to allow only Insider Gold subscribers to post comments under articles. We believe this will result in readers being more circumspect in their comments, resulting in an improvement in the quality, relevance and tone of comments, which will add more value to the content we produce.

The subscription is only R63 a month and will allow community members to continue to post comments and give them access to many other content and data tools, which will enrich their Moneyweb and investing experience.

Community members are welcome to correspond with me at ryk@moneyweb.co.za.

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