The Philadelphia Inquirer removes comments on most of Inquirer.com

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The Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Inquirer announced yesterday that it is removing comments from most of Inquirer.com. Comments will still be available on Sports stories and on Inquirer Live events.  Readers can continue to engage with the paper and its staff through the letters section, social media channels and other features.

In announcing the change, the paper said commenting on Inquirer.com "was long ago hijacked by a small group of trolls who traffic in racism, misogyny, and homophobia. This group comprises a tiny fraction of the Inquirer.com audience. But its impact is disproportionate and enduring."

"Racism has been a persistent presence in Inquirer comments," the announcement said, adding that the paper is "committed to making the changes required to be an actively anti-racist news organization. Removing comments is a step in the right direction, with many more to come."

The paper will continue to allow commenting in the Sports section because the climate there is better than elsewhere on the site. "The conversations are more relevant to the stories, and there are fewer personal attacks. We’ll now be focusing all of our moderating resources on Sports, and our Community Guidelines will be strictly enforced."

Commenting also will continue for Inquirer Live events, which benefit from allowing viewers to post questions in real time.

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