April 12, 2016 Last Updated 5:44 pm

Another one bites the dust: Legal website ‘Above the Law’ turns off their comment threads

The website’s decision to closed down comments has been also taken by several newspapers and magazines who did not like the trend towards increasingly offensive comments

The legal website Above the Law announced this afternoon that they are following a growing trend: they are turning off their comments. The website says it has found that comments are simply not what they once were, civil and a traffic generator.

AbovetheLas-200“Today the comments are not what they once were,” the editors said in their announcement. “Although occasionally insightful or funny, ATL comments nowadays are generally fewer in number, not very substantive (often just inside jokes among the commentariat), yet still often offensive. They also represent a very small percentage of our total traffic (as we can tell because of the click required to access them).”

But the website did something that few other sites have done when announcing that turning off comments: they allowed readers to comment on the story announcing the decision.

“The commentariat must live on, we need another blawg to slowly ruin,” wrote one commenter.

The website said it has seen far fewer comments of late, as well as a shift to offensive comments.

“It’s not clear how or why our comments changed in number and quality. Did the layoffs of the Great Recession cause lawyers and staff to worry about sharing sensitive inside information about their firms on the web? Did the revelation of NSA surveillance by Edward Snowden make everyone paranoid about their digital footprints? Did the rise of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, redirect quality conversation to other venues? We don’t know.”

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