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.
“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.
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)