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.

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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. 

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