The Verge Disables All Comments Due In Part To #GamerGate

One of the websites found to be peddling misinformation, unethical behavior and lies via omission of facts is The Verge. They were one of the websites embroiled in the “Gamers Are Dead” campaign and have been a staunch opponent to #GamerGate right next to Gawker. In light of people becoming fed up with media publications blissfully posting lies without citations, and opting to correct articles via the comment section, The Verge has opted to disable comments altogether to avoid dissent, factual corrections and any opposing views to articles purposefully pushing politically motivated agendas.

The Verge has been responsible for publishing articles like ”GamerGate Is Dead” and “Stop Supporting GamerGate” – where they claim it’s a harassment campaign. Getting proof of #GamerGate being a harassment campaign or getting any of the publications to provide evidence of such is next to nigh impossible. In fact, you can’t even ask for proof of assertions, evidence for baseless allegations, or at least verification for any claims made from a soapbox of conjecture now that The Verge has disabled comments.

As noted on Kotaku in Action, in a post on The Verge titled “We’re turning off comments for a bit” published on July 6th, 2015, writer Nilay Patel declares…

“From the very start, community has been at the heart of The Verge — we are unique among almost every major media brand of our size in having a vocal, engaged audience that cares deeply about what we cover, why we cover it, and how we do it.”


“What we’ve found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since.”

They claim that the comments have prevented the staff from getting their jobs done in an efficient matter; you can’t have comments pointing out factual inaccuracies it seems, because holding media to a standard of journalistic integrity is a big no-no in a world of information governed by rags like Gawker and conglomerates like Vox.

#GamerGate has been fighting against this kind of censorship and media bias for the past eleven months.

What’s more is that a lot of the comments were quick to criticize writers at sites like The Verge for blatant ethical violations including lack of disclosure for affiliate links. This became so bad that #GamerGate organized an e-mail campaign to the FTC in order for them to investigate The Verge for improper usage of endorsed product links without disclosure.

On February 7th, 2015 The Verge updated their disclosure and privacy policies regarding affiliate disclosure and began posting disclosures regarding affiliate links in the articles that contained them.

Disabling comments on their end basically means that whenever they post misinformation there’s no one in the comment section who could clarify or correct the misinformation posted in the article. They’re capable of using the platform to post lies Scott-free.

Worse yet is that The Verge editor Chris Plante was part of the Game Journo Pros, and has overseen coverage about a topic that was discussed in the Game Journo Pros as something that they would purposefully spin to demonize as a harassment campaign. It was mentioned in part of the leaked e-mails on Breitbart that they wouldn’t give the ethics discussion the time of day, with one of them writing…

“I don’t think we, as games press, should support furthering the story by commenting, editorializing or even allowing others to ruminate on it.”

The Verge seems to feel the same way; removing the reader’s ability to express opinions about subject matter that may be divisive or just plain wrong is censorship of the kind that tells people that they have to get on board with the content on the site and they have to like it.

The Verge hasn’t set a date on when comments will come back, but don’t be surprised if more websites take this policy to snuff out comments that attempt to educe the truth from all facts available or question the authority of a website’s position.

Welcome to the orientation of 1984.

(Main image courtesy of Lisa M)


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

36 thoughts on “The Verge Disables All Comments Due In Part To #GamerGate

  1. Chris Plante also being the genius behind the ‘I don’t care if you landed a probe on a comet your shirt is sexist and alienating’ article. I think he used to be a part of Giant Bomb.

    1. Plante wasnt part of Giant Bomb, he used to work at Polygon which I believe is part of the same network as Verge. Which totally makes sense since Polygon pulls the same trash on a daily basis

      1. Kotaku and Destructoid also do it by nuking any voices of dissent until all traces are gone, and then upvoting massively comments that works with their narrative… Anyone would think they had rigged the system.

      2. Eurogamer does it indirectly by letting their mods ban for weak reasons. They get the veneer of being ‘neutral’ (they aren’t, though listed as such on Deepfreeze) and the cred of quashing GG discussions.

  2. If the only The Verge had restrained it’s writers from forming a hate mob against a scientist for wearing a shirt that triggered them, specifically Chris Plante, who wrote Polygon’s “Gamers Are Dead” article as well as the “shirt storm” article.

    Instead, The Verge is doing the online equivalence of shoving fingers into its ears and screaming, “We’re not listening.” And in the article where they state they are turning off comments for a while, they also put this in bold letters for enhanced irony:

      1. Freedom lasts forever, as long as we can switch it off when we don’t like what it says.

      2. This seems to be a growing trend on the internet – just look at the recent changes at Reddit.

        The only “Freedom” that is allowed is the freedom to repeat/reinforce the narrative.

        Anything else is just “hate speech” or “harassment”.

        Basically it’s “Your freedom ends where my feelings begin”, and everyone knows how these folks “feel” about anything that goes against their narrative…

  3. Seeing as how I would never go to the Verge w/o an archive link and I doubt many others supporting Gamergate would flock to their comments very often, I think I see what is really happening here.

    Readers of The Verge (and probably other trash sites) are waking up and opening their eyes at all the latest faux outrage B.S. Somewhat in part to Gamergate.

    The Verge doesn’t like its readers growing a brain and questioning their professionalism.

    Chris Plante and his unethical behaviors was one of the happenings in the latest Qu Qu RECAP video from today:

  4. About expected, Polygon is a journalistic cesspit and it just a Verge blob that somewhat got a life of its own, probably because of all that toxic waste running in their veins.

  5. So, they specialized in whipping up mobs and now that mobs are turning on them, they’re crying enough?

  6. Fuck the Verge. They are lying of course. It also doesn’t help they employ Chris Plante. I have some choice words for that mother fucker after Shirtstorm.

  7. It’s funny that they should claim their comment section somehow became vitriolic because of GamerGate. I visited The Verge often when it first formed, and the comment section has always been vitriolic. When they open up the comments again, create an account and find something reasonable to criticize Apple about; the commentators will lose their shit.

    By the way, The Verge, people who leave comments on your site are called commentators. They’re not called commenters, which isn’t even a real word.

  8. They turned off comments because they’re now dropping Reddit bombs, one from that virtuous example of ethical jounalism T.C. Sottek, and won’t be able to handle the criticism. If they can’t do their jobs because they’re crying over comments, they’re really focusing on the wrong thing.

      1. Gamergate is also reponsible for all Mass Murders, Isis, the extinction of the dinosaurs and MSG in food.

      2. The SJW’s at the BBC here said they have taken a neutral stance when reporting on Isis as they don’t want to hurt anyones feelings. Not joking.

        I used to know a man who had dealt with SJW types for years, he used to say about them “when they open the doors for these terrorists and give them free food and homes, they’ll end up themselves as the first ones in the oven”

  9. Comments sections (except on youtube) is basically the cream of any article, regardless of whether it’s news or entertainment. You can learn a lot more information from the people posting there or additional information that the article wasn’t able to include or didn’t quite explain properly as well as share in the hype whenever something is going on. I’m not even talking about Gamergate or any sort of scandal in general.

    Honestly, any site (except youtube) that doesn’t allow for comments isn’t worth my time to me. Not like I ever visited The Verge but whatever.

    1. Oh man, this 110%!

      I usually skim articles and hop right to the comment section. People can whine all they want about comments being “toxic” or “bad” but I learn A LOT from comment sections… especially from political or tech-oriented pieces because someone savvier than the writer also drops in to unload some righteous knowledge.

      It was such a huge blow when GB practically nuked its comment section because in my opinion that was part of the life of the site. Letting people just go at it can sometimes result in trollish convos but it can also result in a lot of delectably enlightening convos as well. I don’t mind taking the bad with the good because a lot of times if you learn something new out of it then it was well worth it.

  10. “We want to foster debate! The comments section is closed!”

    Half the reason I visit some of those sites is to read the comments. It seems like they want less traffic, not more.

  11. It’s always been super obvious to me that a site is pushing an agenda when they delete/disable comments. Why? They don’t want anyone to think there’s two sides, only one side.

    For example, if you visit Australian news sites, they always have comments disabled. No surprise there, being Australia and all.
    The Daily Mail also likes to disable comments.
    And of course, there’s Sarquasar, self-appointed bastion of anti-rescuee trope who pursues “equality” through being a rescuee.

    Pro tip: if a site only talks about one side, then they are pushing an agenda. Real news sites try to cover all sides, because there is NEVER only one side.

  12. They have now shut down the discussion concerning all this in the forums, funnily under the “off topic” section.
    Please comment.

  13. The Verge comments section is absolutely horrendous. The “Moderators” have multiple times deleted my comments even though I wasn’t offending anyone. I was just pointing out facts that they seemed to have been missing in their articles. The Verge is a fucking joke which is unfortunate because they have lots of talent but their big fat Liberal egos get in the way.

    1. This is the scary thing.

      In the GJP there was A LOT of groupthink about “comment sections = bad” and many were in advocacy for completely censoring entire comment sections (something they actually did do during the early days of #GamerGate).

      As you pointed out, when someone wants to offer a factual correction or a gem of wisdom or informational insight, it’s no longer there — that platform is cut off once the comment section is gone.

      Even if there’s only one out of every thousand comments that was a golden nugget, I would rather let the thousand comments have a right to express whatever they want if that golden nugget at least gets an opportunity to inform or enlighten the people who bother to read it.

  14. The Verge SUCKS. Their articles are obviously slanted to support the “elitist views.” It REALLY pisses me off! Obviously just another bitch for the global elite, The Verge tries to pass as an “edgy, opinionated source of news,” then blocks the public from commenting on their crap. I won’t waste another minute reading their B.S. Pussies.

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