Why It's a Good Idea to Turn Off Comments on Trayvon Martin Posts

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 29 2012 1:27 PM

Why It's a Good Idea to Turn Off Comments on Trayvon Martin Posts

The first Daily Caller exclusive on the late Trayvon Martin's Twitter account was closed: No comments. It was smart move, because if you leave comments open on a story about the bad behavior of an actor in a racial controversy, you're basically putting out a freshly baked pie on the windowsill, smack dab in the middle of Racistville.

A new story, about another (less racy) Trayvon Twitter handle, has open comments. This is problematic. This is a smattering of the more shudder-inducing stuff I saw -- taken, sorry, out of context.

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.10.59 PM

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.09.53 PM

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.09.33 PM

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.08.54 PM

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.07.50 PM

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.07.26 PM

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 1.06.34 PM

The lesson: If you run enough stories about how a black murder victim was thuggier than reported, eventually your readership morphs into a Stormfront coffee klatsch.

UPDATE: I should say: By "morph" I mean that the addition of racists to the comment pool changes the color of the pool. It doesn't say anything about the old readers, some of whom are doing battle with the people who can't live without new dirt on Trayvon Martin. And nothing here is as disturbing as the hacker that Adrian Chen discovered on 4chan.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.


The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.