Before jumping the gun, hear me out!
Recently, I wrote the post:
Which has more comments than the most liked post on DEV!
And I mean actual comments, not the ones where people repeatedly post the same phrases like "Good job", "Nice!", or "Great Article" over and over.
The comments were a battleground. Wars were fought, insults where thrown, mommas were brought up, and the streets ran red with blood.
The article benefited from the constructive conversations. Even if you don't agree, your side deserves to be heard regardless of whether you are right or wrong. I felt a conversation around
.env files needed to happen and it sure did.
That's not to say every comment was positive, when your way of life and intelligence gets challenged, things can get heated.
Here are some highlights of the battle:
Before I stake my claim, here's Dev's official reasoning for introducing the feature.
I respectfully disagree with everything said. Giving the author the ability to silence criticizers hurts credibility. How do I know I'm reading something right if the author can just delete any comment they dislike? That's why I immediately click off any article that has this at the bottom.
Comments can get heated but sometimes have constructive and intricate arguments attached. People disagree but that's how progress is made.
Not one time did I think
"these comments should be removed because I don't like them". Instead, I address and rebuttal comments and this has led to educating others and forming friendships. This is way better than unnecessary censorship.
Author-controlled censorship is a problem. You are giving the author the ability to artificially promote their narrative. What if they post about a very bad practice? They can shut down anyone who disagrees with them.
What about some PR representative posting their buggy or insecure product? Doesn't matter they can remove all comments calling them out.
Do you see how this is harmful?
Lastly, I'm a bit confused about the point of removing comments that corrects the author's mistakes like inaccurate statements or typos.
How is it ok for a commenter to alert the author about a mistake, then the author correcting it and deleting the commenter? How is that helpful outside of protecting the ego of an author who doesn't want to be wrong?
I just don't see the need for an author to remove comments. I feel unnecessary censorship hurts the community as a whole. Anyone can force a narrative or take advantage of the community since they can control who says what and stop anyone from calling them out.
I'm not saying all comments should be allowed. Of-course comments that include derogatory or outright negative statements should be deleted since they go against guidelines. I'm saying authors shouldn't be able to censor anyone who doesn't fit their viewpoint.
In the spirit of the article, I'll get the discussion started in the comments below.
I'm Gregory Gaines, a simple software engineer @Google who's trying to write good articles. If you want more content, follow me on Twitter at @GregoryAGaines.
Now go create something great! If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter (@GregoryAGaines); we can talk about it.
Thanks for reading!