There’s something in a statement on Engadget’s site that serves as a reminder of the delicate dance new media sites have with their readers and commenters (those two groups not always being the same in our opinion). After the gadget site stopped allowing comments to appear on a certain blog post they reminded everyone of their position that comments are a privilege not a right:

You may have noticed that comments on the recent Storm post have been turned off. If you’re wondering why that’s the case, it’s because a handful of folks posting on that story are being rude, disrespectful, reactionary jerks. To be clear, we can do that on any and all posts. Commenting on this site is a privilege, not a right — and this is an exercise to demonstrate that. Lately we’ve noticed a lot of belligerent commenters acting like they own the place (the place being Engadget). News flash — you don’t. We love the participation and input from our commenters — the readers of this site are what make it so great — but when the normally intelligent discussion devolves into nasty, hate-filled rants… well, we have our limits of tolerance. If those commenters who wish to keep up this childish garbage continue, we’ll just switch all the comments off. All the comments. Off.

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