Engadget shuts down commenting: Comment about it here!

Popular gadget blog Engadget has been forced to turn off comments for an undetermined period because the posters have gotten a bit overzealous with poor-form commentary.

In the post announcing the temporary ban today, Editor-in-Chief Joshua Topolsky said, "What is normally a charged -- but fun -- environment for our users and editors has become mean, ugly, pointless, and frankly threatening in some situations... and that's just not acceptable. Some of you out there in the world of anonymous grandstanding have gotten the impression that you run the place, but that's simply not the case."

But the unfortunate outcome of such a situation is that everyone's reaction can't be seen or heard, So I'm extending an invitation to readers to let us know how you feel about being shut out from Engadget, and about forum censorship in general.

In my years here at Betanews, We've only ever had to ban a couple of users. This is because it is generally assumed that anonymous commentary carries practically no weight against personally attributable, reputation-staking reports, no matter how cogent the statement may be.

...and well, because like it or not, your posts are censored.

It's too bad that the level of discourse is often brought down so low that things like this have to happen. For a long time, I've joked about writing an "Internet style guide," similar to the Strunk and White's Elements of Style or the AP Styleguide.

Maybe it's time to stop joking.

I'm interested in hearing what you think: What's the ideal environment to foster free speech, yet encourage manners and respect?

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