Poll: Should AVweb Allow Reader Comments? (Please Comment)

196

Last week, during a transition to our new content management system, we noticed some glitches in the commenting section and stopped allowing comments, temporarily, we assumed. Since then, the only emails we’ve received about the change have been in favor of leaving comments out permanently. We actually noticed a turn in the degree of venom in some comments (right after the debate) just before we shut them off and it alarmed us a bit.

The next few months promise to be eventful in U.S. politics and since most of the rough comments have a political undertone we wonder if it might be time to join virtually all large media sites and end comments. It’s not something we were even considering before this forced pause but it seems to be the popular move. Please vote in the two-question poll but we’ve also switched on the comments for this feature only so you can nicely and respectfully expand on your answer. This poll will inform a future decision but it won’t be the only consideration.

Note: Comments may appear with your email address rather than your username, which is the glitch we are monitoring.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

196 COMMENTS

  1. Reading the comments are half the fun of the entire experience. I avoid AOPA articles BECAUSE they do not have comments.

  2. It is your online publication so please do as you see fit. Readers will vote with their clicks and online subscriptions

  3. …seems like a glitch is still there. Intended user name RichR

    Can understand comments off if resources aren’t available to monitor to remove spam and personal attacks that could affect site operations.

    The “evolved” internet of IT oligarchs projects freedom for all viewpoints, as long as they properly align with said IT oligarchs’ worldviews. Would be a shame for avweb to join that approach, especially if the driver was an opinion piece that could tolerate no other opinions. For those readers who can’t tolerate other viewpoints, I’d suggest not reading comments sections.

    The internet is not “free”, it is primarily a commercial forum where hosts are free to do what they want to generate revenue producing “clicks”. That said, I have a similar option to withhold my clicks, all 1/1000th of $.02 worth.

  4. If there are no comments, I’d favor a return to a daily format that is a continuous read, instead of each individual article being its own page. A more efficient scroll, as this is definitely a daily read for me

  5. Moderation is not a shameful activity. There are plenty of political forums elsewhere: if a comment is more political heat than aviation light, bin it with gusto. All pilots have demonstrated trainability and understanding of rules to some extent. We can do it here, too.

    • Just be sure any moderation guidelines are applied evenly over all viewpoints. Tone policing is allowed–viewpoint policing not so much.
      Name-calling, scolding, insults, and worse–right outta there. Unless it’s funny.

      • And therein lies the rub.
        Every “moderator” does so with his, or his boss’s, point of view as the baseline.

  6. This might be my first time commenting here, but reading the comments can be as entertaining and informative as the articles themselves at times. Heck, some of the regulars feel almost like staff at this point.

    However if things got out of hand to the point where policing the comments for toxic content became a major time draw, I’d understand if they went away.

  7. Comments help me to learn about aspects of flying that are new to this retired A&P. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not politics are a large part of the aviation world and wish it weren’t so.

  8. Please allow comments. The collective expertise is welcome and can often provide a perspective that is significant to understanding the issue. We should each be wise enough to filter the rest.

  9. For my money, *any* online news source that does not permit comments is not worth reading because comments permit a simple and effective means for the management to receive feedback on their output as well as (and more importantly) to allow an easy way for the output to be challenged.

  10. The comments can be amazingly informative, don’t lose them. We all have the ability to skip by the ones that lose the thread…

  11. I say leave them here, people who are against it can simply not read them. Sure, there’s vitriol and politics sometimes, that’s life, you can choose to ignore it or make it affect you. I know what my choice is…

  12. Just delete anything that begins to sound like old cranky and/or fringe right nonsense and everything will go back to normal.

    Or don’t and keep the vitriol and clicks /$ flowing. Is it worth it? You decide.

    • And there you go again with “fringe right”. To be fair, both extremes are the problem, both left and right, and they seem to yell the loudest.

  13. I find the comments to be a wonderful added value for AVweb: I subscribe to AVweb less for opinion pieces than to stay up to date on news and events, items that I find to be augmented by the contributions of the comments section. Numerous times where I have found a news piece to be intriguing but limited by the facts available to the journalist, the comments section has proven to be that added piece that provides expertise otherwise unavailable. The mature reader can overlook any vitriol.

  14. I knew this would happen. The site has become left leaning and we all know this means suppression of speech. Any speech that does not favor the left is considered problematic at best. Rest in peace avweb comments section and look forward to comments on past topics to be removed.

  15. Comments do add value. Losing them would be a loss. A friendly moderation could keep things near optimal.

  16. Comments are the quickest way for a news outlet to find out when they make a mistake.

    News outlets that care about accurate reporting allow comments.

    Act accordingly.

  17. It has long been known that the cure for bad speech is more speech, not less. Comments help us remember a time when censorship wasn’t so pervasive and where many different viewpoints were expressed without fear. They still seem to be on this site. It’s not pretty, but much is to be learned from the give and take. I grew up in such a quaint time and will grieve its loss, knowing that over 30% of my fellow pilots wish others to be censored. That seems to be all it takes these days to make that a done deal.

    Perhaps there are more disturbing comments now because this site seems to be shifting its focus to the airlines and their little problems, and takes the editorial stance of the mainstream outlets from which these stories are plucked.

    Let’s have more original stories about how to make little airplane flying more fun. And let’s have more commentary focused on our eccentricities, not on general audience topics that have already been soaked in the acid of their original reportage.

    Comments would calm right down again.

  18. If you’re going to limit comments to relevant aviation discussion, I’m for it. If you’re not going to moderate out the non-aviation politics, then make it go away because otherwise it’s too painful to sort the aviation wheat from the political chaff.

  19. The comments section of many articles usually end up containing real-world examples of factors and aspects not wholly addressed in an article, due to the real-world experience and expertise of commenters. Surely AvWeb perceives the value? The personal attacks on others and emotionalized political rants are mostly coming from those too immature to control their own triggers, can’t deal with their own cognitive dissonance, and/or are too intolerant to allow the existence of alternate viewpoints other than those approved by their thought leaders. Just moderate the inappropriate stuff out and stop coddling the crybullies.

    Logging in to comment still exhibits a glitch in displayed username.

    • I’m not sure how you can “moderate” without being accused of censorship and therefore instigate more rants and vitriol.

      • Being accused is one thing; actually censoring is something else. Start by removing comments which include personal attacks and name-calling directed at other commenters. Those behaviors are clearly inappropriate. Actions, decisions, and behaviors of public figures invite criticism and much is appropriate. But it does not have to be on a personal level.

      • What Gliders said above. If there are folks who can’t play nice with others, kick them out of the room.

    • Go into your account settings and I bet you will find your “Display Name” blank (even though it is a mandatory field). I did. I fixed that and now it no longer displays my email address.

  20. I’ve managed an aviation forum for over twenty years, most of the good ones have rules about commenting (on topic, no politics, hate speech, bullying, etc) and enforce them by bouncing repeat offenders (some folks just can’t help themselves).

    This requires quite a bit of effort and takes a while to weed out the trolls, but is is how all big forums survive – especially when it’s an election year and for some people everything is political.

    sj

  21. I’m a free speed purist, so I’m good with the comments. Some people believe they shouldn’t be exposed to comments and ideas they disagree with and/or find abhorrent. I’m just the opposite. Being exposed to different opinions and ideas is the only way to learn new things. To me, free speech isn’t just about being able to think and say what I want, it’s also about being able to hear what others have to say that might challenge my own beliefs. I like being forced to think about my own opinions and beliefs in ways that might be uncomfortable. Some of the most important things I’ve learned in my life were at times when I was most uncomfortable. Learning to fly comes to mind!

    Some say there’s simply nothing to learn from certain kinds of repulsive opinions, but I think that’s wrong. If I learn nothing else, I learn about the people making such comments. At the end of the day, if someone doesn’t like reading the comments they don’t have to.

  22. Ok, I know I’m double-dipping here, but I forgot something in my previous post. Here’s something for the ownership of AvWeb to consider: the people complaining about the comments are obviously reading them. When radio shock-jock Howard Stern worked for NBC in NYC the broadcaster’s research showed the average listener listened for an hour and twenty minutes. The people who professed hatred for Stern listened for two-and-half hours. The most common answer to the question, “Why do you listen?” was “I want to see what he’ll say next.” I’m not suggesting you don’t monitor what’s happening in the comment section, just that I don’t think you should fear loss of readership by allowing people to comment on your stories.

    • I can’t speak for everyone, only myself. The reason I read the comments is learn something from others who share my passion for aviation. I often get additional useful information or opinions that I had hadn’t considered – on Aviation matters.

      The trouble is that you can’t read through the comments without scrolling to some clown who wants to rant about unrelated government or social issues. There are lots of other news sites where I can hear these opinions and if read their comments, I know what to expect. But I don’t want them here because this content is about aviation, not government, politics, and ideologies. In short, to get to the interesting comments, I have to wade through muck and anger.

      • Totally agree. I used to read the comments because there was good discussion in it that would bring in another viewpoint, increase the knowledge that could be taken from the article, etc.

        But now it gets tiring to see the same old tropes about liberals, conservatives, government employees, conspiracy theories, DEI, know-it-alls who post their opinion but nothing to back it, etc.

        I’m almost to the point where I’ll just stop reading Avweb altogether because enough of the comments are of the type I’ve mentioned that to find any useful information is not worth the time spent.

        If you are required to talk about the subject at hand and can be required to take your comments elsewhere if you’re not, that is not censorship. It’s moderation.

  23. As in most cases, a relatively neutral news organization is perceived to be liberal by conservatives and conservative as perceived by liberals. That, I suppose, means that the news bringer is indeed near the middle.

    This is an aviation news site and I’m sick and tired of politics entering into an area of my life that I enjoy. Do what you wish… my airplane still flies and so will I for as long as I can. Unlike some groups and/or some individuals, I’m not actively seeking to be outraged by someone, some faction, or some form of speech. I can ignore comments if necessary… most comments (including mine) are worth exactly what you pay to read them.

  24. We had the city commons and the village greens to gather, feed our stock, discuss everything and anything under the sun, in the feudal times. These commons and greens were originally informal and existed at the benevolence of the Lord ruler of the land. Today, those fora (forums) are long gone, along with the livestock they fed and the noblemen who ran them. Ironically the wide variety of web sites, the economies of the internet have allowed them to redevelop on a non-geographic platform, attracting groups of people interested in the topics being published and creating electronic equivalents of the village green. They still exist at the grants and beneficence of the new electronic webmaster/noblemen, and they are popular among us readers. I agree with the commenters such as gliders who point out that there is often good information in the comments, tidbits to research that the article author may have not known, not liked or didn’t support the thesis, but are every bit as valid in understanding the content. I find many of the comments helpful and a positive resource for further investigation. It is true that some comments do not contribute and some seem just posted to antagonize and that is also part of the nature of the new electronic commons. But as others have said, a careful bit of reasonable, quiet moderation by the electronic landlord is reasonable to keep the conversation focused and productive and pertinent.

    Whether you keep comments or not, I’ll probably keep reading, but I do think the new landlord of AVweb should keep in mind that a significant drift away from the unique information AVweb has traditionally published will also result in a drift in the audience it presumably wants from its purchase to an audience that may be redundant to its other audiences and could be the loss of its opportunity it was seeking in this audience.

    Comments are an increased expense, moderation is occasionally necessary in high powered audiences, and frequently required in low yield, partisan audiences, but on the whole, I think they add more to the story, and keep the writers on their toes resulting in a better overall result and a more educated population.

  25. I’ll miss the ‘good’ comments, Russ. But with the US political animosity at such a high level, I see why you might make the choice to stop comments.

    Would it be possible to make Avweb comments a “politics free” zone and limit commentary to aviation issues only?

  26. PS. I will not comment if my email addresses are exposed to the public. Require a true name if you wish, but these fora are also prey for robotic email gathering and exposing your readers email to preditation is, for me a guaranteed show stopper.

    • Your email address is showing.

      Go into your account settings and I bet you will find your “Display Name” blank (even though it is a mandatory field). I did. I fixed that and now it no longer displays my email address.

  27. Yes, please leave comments on during this election cycle. There are several folks who research answers and provide information pertaining to the related topic. Me personally, I would sorely miss that extra flow of information. To combat the rage, perhaps AvWeb could implement a temporary filtering policy, where politically oriented or personal attacks are removed, but those posts that elucidate topics are kept. Thanks Russ,

    • That policy is already in place, I believe. I’ve seen mention of posts being removed in the past.

  28. I would vote for having comments, but I also see no harm in deleting comments that are not relevant to the subject.

    I do think that comments related to the subject of the article can be valuable. For example, you might publish an article saying that “You can always go around” and “There is no reason to try to salvage a bad landing” and I might comment that I found the article to be overly simplistic and list the reasons why.

  29. I favor keeping comments, but I also prefer that the commentators eschew politics. Some political mention might be indicated if a recent political action affected, for better or worse, the aviation community. But there needs to be a provision for eliminating posts (and maybe posters) that are rude, insulting, or mean to another poster.

    It seems that politics and religion can bring vitriol to the fore quicker than just about any other subjects. They should be minimized, if not eliminated altogether from our aviation community of AVWeb.

    • I’d prefer it if the authors eschewed politics as well. It seems that some can’t help but show their bias. I get that some of these are opinion pieces, but this sort of thing just draws further political commentary. It’s one thing when discussing a specific law or proposal which DIRECTLY affects/involves aviation. It’s quite another when it’s just a drift into an unrelated opinion on current or past administrations.

  30. The comments of late have gotten to be more political and, hence, more toxic. I come here for news; if I want comments I go to Beachtalk.

  31. The comments section often allows readers to provide context, additional information about the topic, and sometimes to offer corrections to the article. Please keep comments available.

    It is regrettable when some — very few — people respond with vitriol and partisan politics. In my 40 plus years of flying I believe that does not represent 99% of pilots. It would be a shame if that minority dictated conditions to the rest of us.

  32. I value the comments. Most of your stories are timely and on subject, but are mostly only informational and lack good contextual content which I need when the story touches on subjects I am less familiar with. Many subjects require a level of journalistic integrity which I suspect causes you to refrain from expounding on the pro’s and con’s of many events you report on. I find that (as a group) commenters with a lifetime of experience in related fields add weight, balance and perspective to your reporting when they share their insights and opinions.

    Some stories have a government/social aspect to them and there will necessarily be political opinions. I expect there to be comments about those topics that I do not agree with, but I still value the opposing view points. It is good for me to feel the community’s political pulse on these issues.

    There are always those who equate every mundane event to an extreme opinion. I agree that mindless and sometimes offensive nonsense has no place, but there is not a lot, and I am capable of skipping over it and not reacting. If you invest large amounts of effort on removing offensive posts: I thank you, you do us a great service. And I would like to apologize on behalf of us all. I prefer to think highly of my fellow aviators.

    I ask that the comments be restored; possibly accompanied by a story that explains the need to maintain focus and decorum. I feel that most of your news stories are most valuable after the commenters have had an opportunity to weigh in. I intentionally go back and read your more important stories after the community has had a chance to fully engage. That way I feel I have gained a well rounded understanding of both the event, and its significance.

    Thank you for the work that you do (all of you, not just Russ) 🙂

  33. Every online forum is facing a stark choice: either turn off comments altogether or moderate them heavily. If you leave them on without moderation, they will be overrun by ill-behaved humans but also by bots, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

    I like the approach BeechTalk takes. I feel like we could probably self-moderate here reasonably well if the comment software allowed it, but failing that, my vote would be to leave ’em off.

  34. I probably post to Facebook about every 7-10 years. I commented on something this year that someone else had posted. That was probably the first time in 2-3 years. And it was a question that I was answering. I commented a response to a question on Instagram this year. That might have been my first time ever commenting there. I probably comment on AvWeb every 6 months or so making me a veritable blabbermouth here.

    I am disappointed by the comments here. I hate the personal attacks. I despise the trolls who turn everything political either left leaning or right. I don’t care which way you lean, I want airplanes and blue sky, not red vs blue. I grow tired of the people who rail against electrification of aircraft on every post, or who (rightly) predict that this new aviation company too will fail. I don’t care if you’ll be proven right eventually. Can we stop rooting against the people moving our beloved industry forward? Can you stop complaining EVERY SINGLE TIME a post comes out about a new E-VTOL? The same complaint. Again. Honestly it feels like I’m in the old folks home listening to the old codgers complain about “those darn kids today.” Who has time to sit and write all this vitriol? I feel sorry for you. Go outside. Pet a dog. Smell a flower. Buy someone in line behind you their breakfast.

    With that said, the past few weeks have been a blessing and a curse. My blood pressure is lower because I’m not shaking my head reading the comments I reference above. But I also miss the added information, the wit, and the related stories from personal experience. I voted yes, to please reenable comments. Lord help us if you do.

    I don’t see why a professional journalist should spend their time moderating comments but maybe an intern or aspiring journalist could? Perhaps a code of conduct should be established?

    Do not attack the journalist. They are people too
    Do not bring politics into the discussion if it isn’t already clearly there in the base article
    Do not attack your peer commenters personally or politically. If you disagree, do so on facts, not opinions
    Keep your comments aviation related
    Three strikes and you are out (I don’t know how you enforce that with email free from so many places)

    I’m sure there are some other rules to be added or adjusted. If my biannual blathering on here violates the rules, then boot me from the comment section. But despite my complaints above, I spend more time reading the comments than I do the base article. There has to be some value in them.

    • Great post! A small quibble, and one that applies to many posts, is that the meaning of “politics” is not always agreed upon.

      In my admittedly sometimes limited thought processes, politics is anything with the threat of force behind it. If I say that you should eat eggs for breakfast, that’s an opinion. If I say you should be required to eat eggs for breakfast, that’s politics.

  35. The ability to comment is good. I look forward to scrolling down and I often learn something about aviation. Politics, not so much. I just skip those as soon as they reveal themselves.

    I don’t know how the whole moderated-comments thing works but I read Bring-A-Trailer every day and their system functions beautifully. Seems like a lot of work though.

  36. Russ, I really value AvWeb. I appreciate that you often include verbatim releases to eliminate any confusion, such as UND and Lycoming over UL94, and I prefer the separate stories which makes archiving/forwarding much easier. Regarding comments, I’ve found the recent trend depressing, where vitriol, ad hominum attacks and politics overwhelm the aviation content. Hence I voted ‘No’ unless you have time to personally purge all the unrelated/unprofessional material….I trust your judgement if you choose that route. Thank you for everything you do for us.

  37. OUTSTANDING “COMMENTS ABOUT COMMENTS”!

    We can get “unfiltered news” from any source–TV, magazines, books, newspapers. ONLY ONLINE OPINION AND COMMENTARY “keeps it real”. The other venues mentioned are simply “opinion” pieces–the opinion of the original author. They allow no differing views or opinions.–no feedback–no alternatives.

    Library’s are stocked with books about “One man’s opinion”–and usually have few readers.

    In contrast, sites like AvWeb allow a poster to throw out an idea or observation–if it has merit–if it does not, readers give their differing views.

    In the “olden days”–Russia had “Taas”–the Communist “newspaper”–ridiculed because all it printed was the “party line.” Writers stuck to the “party line” of “truth” (that was anything BUT the truth) and nobody was allowed to challenge that “truth.” Tass was read only to find out what the “current truth” was at the moment–not for anything useful.

    If you have an idea, thought, or suggestion, online sites allow you to throw it out there (within reason)–the readers will let you know if you have “jumped the shark” (Fonzi from “Happy Days”–or overplayed your hand.

    I’ll take an open dialogue and the ability to challenge the “party line” any day!

  38. While I have learned a few things from the comments over the years, the level of negative and downright nasty comments has reached a level that is unacceptable, IMHO. The tendency to blame it all on whatever issue is bothering someone at the moment appears to be rising.

    There is nothing I know of that says you have to provide a forum for comments from anyone and everyone. It is your platform and not some publically-owned, government channel that falls under the First Amendment. If you want to police it and spend you time weeding out the truely stupid and inappropriate things that someone posts, that is your decision and your cost. I don’t think it it worth it.

    Kill the comments for now and let the dust settle. The articles are still going to be informative and readers will still get good info from them. The ornary just won’t be able to share their creative writing skills with us. That’s a good thing. If 6-9 months down the road you want to reopen the comments function and see if the world has changed, give it a try.

    • “Kill the comments and let the dust settle?” It would ruin AvWeb.

      The cemetary is usually a quiet place, as well–but you don’t learn much there.

      • jimhanson73 – Actually a cemetery is a very good place to sit and contemplate the world and your place in it. Not many distractions and your mind can roam free to associate (or disassociate) any subject that pops up. If you get really bored, you can search tombstone dates to see who the oldest resident was at the time of death. Or you can stare at the clouds and wonder why you didn’t go to the airport instead of the cemetery. Or watch the birds and try to figure out why they are better pilots than any of us. Just a thought.

  39. This is the best comments section that I’ve seen on AvWeb in a long while. I miss the non-political comments that used to teach me things about aviation. If you can delete the political and keep the aviation content, I would appreciate the comments continuing.

  40. Maintain the 1st amendment policy. There will always be haters on both sides of the isle. Easily ignored.

    • Great point. The framers of the Constitution did a great job, but soon realized that it erred in not protecting “freedom of speech” OR “freedom of the press–so came up with the First Amendment–“Congress shall make no law….abridging Freedom of speech, OR OF THE PRESS.” Yes, there are limits that are NOT protected–specifically, “incitement, defamation, fraud, obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and threats.”

      I haven’t seen anything approaching those categories on AvWeb.

      Without “feedback” (comments) the site becomes just another textbook–the opinion of the author–unable to be challenged or corrected. Those sites are rarely visited, and with no readers, there is no business case for advertisers–a self-inflicted fatal wound.

  41. I vote for keeping the comments. I like others in past comments don’t always agree with all peoples viewpoints. I can block that out and learn from the ones that are actually giving solid information. If I’m always hearing things that I agree with how am I gonna grow?
    Thanks, Russ and staff for all the hard work you guys do

  42. Russ,
    The article in question had an overt political undertone. Kind’a leaves it open for response in kind. Regardless . . . all commentary should be respectful. I do review and learn from commentary by other readers. Some very smart folks in this community. Please allow reader comments. Would be best to require actual real names.
    Thanks, Thomas Charlton

  43. First, I want to agree with vspeed96480 “Can we still make fun of the air force and airline pilots?” (GO NAVY!)

    Second, I do look forward to reading the comments, and I agree that lately that there are a large number of negative comments. I would rather skip over those, than lose the rest.

  44. Used to be in the “old” days, I read the posts, and that was enough, occasionally depending upon the topic, glancing over the comments. I have noticed three trends on AvWeb recently. Firstly, No matter what the topic, it could be the color of Av gas, a few individuals turn it political. I am also a proponent of free speech, however, in a forum such as this, it needs to be be germane to the topic, not far left field (or right if you will), and that is easily controlled by the moderator. The second thing I have noticed on the “new” AvWeb, is many of the the posts themselves from the editor, have a more decidedly political bend to them. In the days when people actually trusted the media, they would report the news, facts as they knew them. Then there would be a separate editorial. Seems to me that has changed for the worse, with all forms of media adding their editorial right in with the reporting, and in my opinion, adding to the distrust that the media has now garnered. That appears to be happening here more and more, and should be kept separate. And lastly, occasionally on the e-mails, the headers for the articles are more like clickbait. Why. Cannot think of a good reason for this. All in all, the comments should stay in my opinion, be moderated better, and expect more comments if you are posting something political or opinionated. My 2 cents.

  45. I read and enjoy AvWeb for aviation content, not politics. Aviation-related comments from knowledgeable people are valuable, but slogging through the off-topic political crap from self-centered folks who hijack every story to blather on about whatever comes to mind ruins the site. It is no longer worth wading through the numerous toxic comments to find informative content. The time has come to enforce TOS rules through effective moderation or shut comments off entirely. As it stands now, comments detract from the site and should be turned off.

  46. I love the opinions of other reders. Sometimes I agree and sometimes I won’t but all in all for me it is entertaining and educational. Please keep comments in!

    Sig

  47. I agree with the folks who enjoy reading the comments…..added content / viewpoints on the story, and especially the “respectfully humorous” ones. Not the slightest interested in the political, diversity ridiculing or just plain mean ones. Agree that making people use their real name might reduce the ones just blasting off angry words. I skip over those, not being interested in angry people.
    But, feel free to do whatever is best and easiest for you. Spending too much time deleting the nasty ones does not seem fun. The articles are good, well written, and enjoyable to read anyway.

  48. Unmoderated comment sections descend into hostility and name calling. If you want a comment section of broad value to aviation, it needs to be moderated. IMHO, comments should be closely related to aviation. Name-calling, personal attacks, and overtly political hostility should result in removal of the comment. There are other aviation sites that manage to keep comments aviation-related, one moderator of such a site has already made a comment, above. It can be done here.

  49. The presence of comments is the main unique aspect that makes AvWeb so valuable and worthwhile. I can go to Pilots of America for comments, and Aero News for journalism, but no place I know but AvWeb combines both. Plus, it’s hard to imagine a higher level of aviation journalism that AvWeb offers. Having comments there makes AvWeb 100 times better!

    I can imagine that it’s disheartening as journalists to see vitriolic comments associated with your articles, and that you’re concerned that such comments suppress activity on your site. But for me, I love the thoughtful comments and I can just skip the vitriol by reading past it.

    So, by all means, KEEP the COMMENTS – ANY dialogue is valuable! Frankly, I see very little that’s offensive to me, and I really appreciate the differing views I see on AvWeb’s comments section.

    If you change anything, I suggest you edit the UI to bring greater clarity to the “Report comment” button.

    Thank you!

  50. No. Comments usually turn into a measuring contest on who the brighter person commenting is.

    That stopped being entertaining on 10th grade.

  51. No. Comments usually turn into a measuring contest on who the brighter person commenting is.

    That stopped being entertaining in 10th grade.

  52. Occasionally there is a gem worth publishing, either factual or humorous. I could certainly do with less, “Me too,” and vitriol. On the other hand, if you turn off comments there is no way to get added, useful info. Perhaps some moderation might be in order.

  53. All of my active flying is pretty much in the last century. I very much enjoy this site. I read real life experience relating to the topic, and current information from engineers, pilots, ATC, A&Ps.

    I can fell some sorrow for the wild ones and pretty much ignore them. But I do go for the comments. In fact, the last few days have been “So what?”. No one to comment, it’s like reading a newspaper, if any one remembers those.

  54. I encourage you to continue comments. 85% to 90% of the comments are thoughtful and informative. The balance are from folks who can’t separate their political, cultural, and societal positions from their thoughts on aviation. I find them annoying, but not deal-breaking.

  55. On the point of “…the only emails we’ve received about the change have been in favor of leaving comments out permanently.”, above, thanks for realizing that having stated that you’re working to correct a tech glitch in the comments provided an impetus for those in favor of shutting them down to speak up while leaving the rest of us comforted that they’d return, and predisposed to remain quiet. I would have been odd, upon hearing that you’re working out a glitch, to comment on the lines of “I hope you turn the comments back on!”.

    Thanks for offering a poll. FYI, prior to voting, I rushed to comment (based on having read that quoted phrase at the top of this comment) and almost forgot to vote. I’m probably not the only one and I might assume, if I were AvWeb, that you lost some pro-comments votes in this manner.

    Again, I love AvWeb. W/o comments, my love for what you do would decrease by at least half, unless you offered more in-depth journalism.

    LONG LIVE AVWEB COMMENTS!!!

  56. I love AvWeb. I am a pilot. But I have never seen ruder comments than below many AvWeb stories. What is it about pilots that makes them think they know more than anyone else and why they should be so rude? I say can the comments; they’re mostly just hot air anyway, which is why I have mostly stopped looking at them. They can ruin your day. These people should be counting their lucky stars that they know how to fly, and really lucky if they actually can afford to own–and insure–an airplane.

  57. I enjoy reading the comments, but agree that there should be some basic ground and etiquette rules about comments.

    Aviation is a non-partisan activity, and airmanship is another word for manners, courtesy and fair play. Let’s reflect that in the AvWeb comment, whether voluntarily or by regulation.

  58. You are implying in so many words that the cognoscenti of avweb are responsible for its success and not its readers. I’m not sure I would come here were it not for the counterpoint and frequent corrections provided by your readership. You also imply that comments posted are required reading for avweb visitors. You guys have a lot more free time on your hands than I do obviously lol. marc@carestandard.com

  59. One final comment: Since having been acquired by FLYING, I really miss see the directory of the day’s articles at the bottom of most articles. I really dislike having to navigate back to the root email to get the next article.

    PS (OK, another comment ;-)): I work as for a major supplier to the aviation industry, as a Sales Director for a reclaimer of fire suppression gases (halon, etc.). While I am not a pilot, I have aviation in my family and I spent a lot of time in and around airplanes and airports. Hearing the voices (comments) of those more closely related to the front lines of AV, IMO, greatly improves my understanding of the aviation market. So, Keep the Comments!

  60. You are implying in so many words that the cognoscenti of avweb are responsible for its success and not its readers. I’m not sure I would come here were it not for the counterpoint and frequent corrections provided by your readership. You also imply that comments posted are required reading for avweb visitors. You guys have a lot more free time on your hands than I do obviously lol.

  61. Precisely, Crista Worthy. Ruining my day doesn’t worth the joy of reading the good comms. That’s why a while ago I just stopped reading any comm.

  62. If you eliminate comments, please make sure there’s an easy way to reach editorial/writing staff on each page for corrections.

    Otherwise, I found myself wanting to comment on several stories in the last few cycles, but my absolute only interest is in aviation-related comments. The anger, vitriol, narrow-mindedness, politicism, racism, sexism, and all the other -isms we see in the comments here just make me unhappy. If the conversation were elevated, it would be wonderful. But, we’ll always get the least common denominator.

    For every “wow, that was an insightful comment”, there are at least 5-10 that drain life of joy. We now even have scientific evidence that social media renders people far less happy.

    The tradeoff just isn’t worth it.

  63. Yes – allow comments for all except this question – seriously – there will always be bad apples, but mostly we try to project our experience(s) into the equation – maybe I’ve seen something you didn’t consider. If you wanted to delete personal attacks, or off topic ramblings, I don’t think many would mind. FWIW.

  64. One other note! On the subject that the only e-mails received were in favor of getting rid of comments. Many years ago I was talking to a friend about something or someplace I had decided not to purchase or go based on some of the written reviews. This person told me they had been there/bought that and the reviews were decidedly wrong. I then queried him “then why the mostly bad reviews?” He said think about it, you go to your grocery store and don’t think twice about it. But if someone goes and has a problem or a bad experience, they are more prone to carry that anger home, and then post it for all to see, or to write the business and voice their displeasure, while the majority of folks just go about their day not thinking twice about how easy or nice their experience was, and certainly without an impetus or reminder, to post about their experience. That is why you will often see many bad comments over good comments, on a place that does not actively seek reviews from their customers. So kudos, for at least bringing the subject to light, and seeking input.

  65. AvWeb staff, you need to look to the future before you’re part of the past. Enhance the system to be “MORE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT”. Enhance the comment feature so the reader can ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’. Allow a half dozen or so regulars Volunteer to moderate.

    There are other places for Aviation enthusiast to gather. If Flying magazine is ashamed of their readers? There’s a fix to that. The internet is a very big place with tons of opportunity for the next guy. The gift of the internet over paper news is the comments and it’s not going away.

  66. I voted to allow comments. I would however, ban any political comments. People should be able to discuss aviation without the political BS that infects so many of our social interactions.

  67. I am in favor of continuing with comments, but ONLY if you have the time and staff to monitor and delete the derogatory, inflammatory, and MEAN comments. Policing the comment section should be policy and strictly adhered to. Although I do enjoy reading the comments, much of what has been seen in the comments over the last few months is derogatory and detracts from the enjoyment to the point I just log out.
    J. R. Bridges III

    • I second this answer: comments, only with effective moderation. The recent practice has not been effective moderating. So many of the comments were too full of political ideology, too lacking in logical reasoning, too separate from aviation and the article’s topic, that the comment section has been a net negative to AvWeb. Because of that, I chose “no” to comments in this survey.

      An effectively-moderated comments section enforcing a good policy of staying on-topic and non-ideological would be a net positive. If your survey had offered that option, I would have chosen it.

      I think we readers have shown by our behaviour (including in this comments thread!) that we won’t stay on-topic and non-ideological by ourselves.

      And if you decide to take on the task of moderating, could please also take on the tasks needed to improve the technology: permitting edits to comments, change the formatting so that we don’t mistakenly click on the “report post” link quite so often when we mean to click on “reply”, and get better at approving posts with on-topic links, so as to encourage replies which cite their sources.

  68. One of the most informative things I read in AvWeb was a person in the industry commenting on the sunsetting of support for Garman 530 units. He explained how chip manufacture works these days and the lengths electronic thec’s have to go to, to maintain electronic equipment that can’t be replaced. Would have never known about those problems without that un named commenter.

    Internet forums and comments are the Wild West of the internet. It’s easy enough for me to scroll passed the lunatics to see useful posts. They should remain in my humble opinion.

  69. I am mildly conflicted, as perhaps 10 to 15% of comments add either useful information or useful perspective from professional pilots or others with actual knowledge or data to expand on the article. More than half, however, are just venting of keyboard buffoons eager to share their ignorance or their political views. While I’d be supportive of comments if there were an active and aggressive moderation presence, that would take someone more hours than their are in a workday…

  70. Comments from AVWeb readers are often far more qualified than those who created article content. This is not criticism of the writers, just reality. Turn off comments and there is no balance. Bad words can be easily tagged and comment automatically rejected. I find that those who attack others for a different opinion generally get ignored and drift away. AVWeb has though a very clear left-of-center bias, so criticism from readers is to be expected. GAN does a good job of reader comments, and does not push all the greenie / DEI stuff as AVWeb does. So its readers tend to be more subdued and professional in their comments.

    • Wow, and there you have it. The case for shutting down comments. Even a poll question about whether to allow comments gets the allegation that AvWeb pushes “greenie/DEI stuff.” By which the author presumably means any articles about electric aircraft or people other than white males.

      • Agreed. That fact that even in this topic a commenter finds it appropriate to push a mention of “greenie / DEI stuff” is evidence that this audience will have a hard time staying on-topic and non-ideological on our own. Conclusion: strict, effective moderation; or keep the comments shut down.

        • Or, since Kent has always posted under his email address, and thus not registered with AvWeb and taken a screen-name, disallow such un-vetted “anonymous” postings. I know quite a few people who maintain “write-only” email accounts for just such purposes.

  71. I find the comments as enjoyable and informative as the original article as long as they’re on-point. Please continue to allow such comments. I also find some readers are spring-loaded to interject politics into every issue (you know who you are) which really takes away from the aviation experience. Perhaps we could use AI to filter out such comments. Thank you for a great product!

  72. I’m only for commenting if… If there would be a way for me to block some commentators, or a way to collectively downvote and remove off topic of unnecessary comments. Otherwise leave them off.

  73. It’s true the politics can be uncomfortable, but we are primarily North Americans and our freedom to fly requires some awareness of how that freedom is supported and maintained by the politics that affects us as we fly and live our lives on the ground. It’s like the weather, if we ignore it, it might kill us.

    I find the insights of many who comment as important and informative as the articles they are responding too, as well as the support or critical questioning of each other.

    • This is so true. So many want to quash comments because some of them are vapid, dumb, off-topic or just inconvenient to read. How does that even begin to trump the idea of freedom of speech or in today’s online environment, “more engagement is better”? It sounds like those against this can’t stand having their beliefs challenged. I just find it refreshing, sometimes amusing and occasionally revelatory. We will be so much poorer without them.

  74. Here’s a possible way to help police comments: Some sites have a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” way to “vote” content and comments–a way to measure what readership thinks of a particular article or comment.

    That allows reasonable agreement/disagreement with the article or the comment–valuable feedback as to how the article or comment was received–ALSO giving feedback to the original writer or commentor. Just something to consider as an option to “comments/no comments.”

    • Yes. And some sites take it further: a post with enough down votes gets the author banned.

    • That presumes that the evaluation by other readers is valid and competent. A simple binary vote doesn’t indicate the rationale behind the vote and is useless to provide meaningful feedback to the author or commenter. It also doesn’t provide meaningful indication to other readers as to the quality, accuracy or validity of the article or the comment.

  75. Comments add additional useful information which far outweighs and out numbers the negative comments. Please keep the comments going.

  76. Please leave the comments in for all the reasons so eloquently stated in most of the above comments! I’m not too happy with my email address being posted though, other sites can add comments etc. with user-names only, can’t be that hard.

  77. I rarely comment, but usually read other comments, some of which are very educational and add insight to the articles. I vote to retain comments. But it is inevitable that vitriol will creep into any unmoderated reader contributions.
    I cannot understand why so many think a keyboard is an excuse to be rude.

  78. As you can see from the responses here, there are a lot of people willing to comment and most of us like having a comment session. Post simple rules. I suggest:

    Be civlil. No personal attacks.
    Stick to aviation that the article topic.
    No mention of politics or religion.

    Sure, you can debate definitions and examples but Avweb is the decider. No warnings, just ban people if they overtly bring in politics or religion or are not civil. I ran a Forum this way and it was hugely successful. People thanked me for policing it. You only have to kick a handful off before everyone gets the message.

  79. Comments should stay. I’ve learned many valuable pieces of information that i use in my flying i wouldn’t have otherwise known if not for comments, other points of view, etc. as others have mentioned, it is entertaining at times if nothing else.

    (Im addressing everyone in this next paragraph, all creeds backgrounds etc, Im not talking about anyone in particular) Don’t like certain comments? I feel its quite simple. We have options. 1) Don’t read/ignore/don’t engage with people who we disagree with (according to our subjective opinions) like we were taught in gradeschool. 2) Another thing i was taught, which is more for younger folks growing up with the internet, is *turn off your computer*. That’s what they said to do with “cyber bullying”. You can’t get upset about what you can’t see. You see, even with all of the emotions you feel, how YOU react is controllable. Cut off on the highway? You can honk, drive aggressively back, gesture rudely or… move on. 3) It’s not really that important in the grand scheme of things, yeah? If what someone says in the internet in a comment on an article REALLY upsets YOU that much that you feel the need to start a flame war, maybe you need introspection and self reflection. But hey, we’re human. We have emotions, we rant rave and are passionate about our hobby/livelihood and we all want the best for it. Well, sometimes we need somewhere to vent, and this may be one of the only places someone can do that, and a political rant is the result. Maybe better than taking it out on someone else. See? A little benefit of the doubt or even a little empathy, and respect, mutual respect, can change your point of view and how you approach someone you don’t know. People are allowed to be VERY opinionated and disagree with you. And you will probably not change their mind. So, let it go, man.

    Maybe, we can implement a system of hiding comments that are off topic/toxic or whatever adjective you want to use. And the user can toggle a switch to hide or unhide these flagged comments. Then, its best of both worlds. We keep constructive on topic comments visible, and obvious ones hidden, and let the end user decide if they want raw unfiltered mostly anonymous discussion, or not.

    In a philosophical sense, we have a right to free speech (in the USA anyway. Not only here, but not everyone who reads here is from the US). Its a private website and not a public area, of course, but i believe the input from others is vitally important. If you truly believe in free speech you believe those who are wrong and you vehemently disagree with deserve to have a voice. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe in free speech. And thats okay, just own it. Now, everything has consequences that you say. What you say and how that is received, is a consequence of their words, and your reaction and interpretation.

    For those who want them off, I respect your opinion. I have a suggestion for you if they stay: Don’t scroll down and read them (not sure why you wouldn’t be already frankly). If they really upset you and they have no value to you, let us fools stay in the virtual trenches and we will try to get what we want out of them. “I don’t want those ‘wrong’ people spouting nonsense” well then dispute them with facts or ignore it. The world is full of inaccuracies, conspiracy theories (sometimes turn to truth! Be open minded), and people who are uneducated to a point, uninformed, or just wrong. You can be helpful, and try to educate, or not. Just read a normal news article about a plane “crash” (controlled emergency landing in a field) next to a school (the school is 10 miles away). We all come from different walks of life, lets use that to our advantage as best we can, and not make mountains out of molehills.

    “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all “ -Mother

    • Some weird phrasing and weird grammar, sorry guys. Bear with me. Hope you got the gist of my comment

      • I have a few more thoughts. Let me share a quote “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.
        Mark Twain”

        Also, reading other comments, i think it is true that there is a lack of GA discussion and articles and that has had an impact on the quality not only of the site but comments. Posts about something that has ties to politics will of course draw out the politics in the comments. News invariably is mostly negative anymore, politics or not. And when you constantly see negativity, and live in it online, thats how you think the world is, and you become a negative person. Food for thought

        I’m basically seeing on the pro comment side of readers, champions of free speech and education, anti comment folk seem to be worried about their experience Reading being unpleasant due to them not liking what they see.

        I find in real life, the people i work with who complain the most also complain the loudest and are the minority. For some reason, management listens instead of being the adults.

  80. Attn ADMIN and any other users who’s email address is showing in place of your Display Name.

    When you look at the text entry box for the comments, above it does it say “Logged in as . Log out?”??

    Go into your account settings and I bet you will find your “Display Name” blank (even though it is a mandatory field). I did. I fixed that and now it no longer displays my email address.

  81. Please leave the comments. Reading the ideas and opinions of so many different types of pilots, (commercial, military, airline, private, clown) is a priceless resource and very entertaining!

  82. I prefer having the opportunity to read (and weigh) comments.

    Re: nasty ad hominims… review posts prior to publishing. Have hard rock rules for language and topics.

    • In other words, you are asking for strict, effective moderation of comments. I would like that too. However, moderation is a lot of work for those doing the moderating. I can imagine AvWeb deciding it is not worthwhile, given the uncertain added value of comments overall.

  83. Keep the comments. I can easily ignore the ones I don’t like. Too much real information in the comment section to get rid of it.

  84. Only leave comments on if they’re on topic. If you don’t moderate the comments, they will devolve into garbage.

  85. Leave the comments on. It’s the logical decision. Those who don’t want the comments can not go there, while those that do – can. Both parties are appeased. I just don’t see why discontinuing comments is even being considered. Expect your readers to be adults and avoid things they find distressing. We certainly expect folks to fly around tough weather. How is this any different? You’re a pilot – make a decision for your daily comfort. If you don’t like the comments but feel compelled to read them regularly, I am sincere when I suggest you seek professional mental health help. Rational people don’t do things they don’t like or that make them uncomfortable if they don’t have to. Speaking with someone may hugely improve your life.

    That being said, I too dislike most of the heavily political ones. But to “moderate” any comment ( other than that which is legally risky) discourages interaction between and understand of the people of opinions other than the ones you might “moderate.” If our society had silenced Dr. Martin L King Jr, the world would be a much less human place. I think most folks don’t like the political stuff because it reminds them that there is at least one other belief on a given subject, and that reminds them that they COULD BE wrong. Are some ( or a lot) of the posters a bit harsher than I would hope to be – you betcha. But that’s the nature of Western Society. Manners are no longer desirable and their practitioners no longer respected. It is what it is. But we need the interaction – and to put one person’s ( or corporate entity’s) philosophical outlook in charge of what gets put out – kills the value of any of it. May as well just have a chorus behind you going – “Yup”. At which point why bother?

    The commenters here pointing out the editorial slide to the left are not incorrect. I hate “editorial slant” in anything – no matter what the intent. I consider it lying by omission. But there is still good legitimate journalism going on here. Amelia Walsh is one of the best I have read in years. It’s so nice to see young people committed to impartial reporting. Conversely, every “E” startup is the next answer to everything in this publication. It’s a bit frustrating when even the alleged journalist fails to mention huge roadblocks likely to present issues. Ask a tough question once in a while why don’t ya? I’m not saying don’t report that stuff, just quit making it sound like it was written by the guy promoting the investment. And when one of these companies goes under and takes millions of dollars of investors money with it, how come is it we never hear what percentage of money actually went to research and not salaries etc? As many of these startups as there are lately it would be a public service to hold each of them to the fire regarding accounting. I understand that a disproportionate percentage of your readership are tech freaks. But that’s all the more reason to be hard on these types of stories. You owe your readership discretion and every bit of information you can get – not just what the company wants you to put out. If you look hard and can’t find a potential sticking point that hasn’t been addressed, then that’s worth reporting. Too many companies ( not just tech startups) are created with the belief that we should be able to do that no problem – without consideration of the complete set of challenges to be faced. Investigate before you report and only give ink to the folks who are real and have their water fowl colinear.

    The opportunity to rate or “like” each comment might be helpful for those on the fence. It would also provide handy ( if extraordinarily informal) measure of the validity of the comment per the readership’s overall perception. That might also slow down some of the more extreme ( of any stripe) posters. Once they see no one agrees with them, It might just modify their behavior. Additional someone who believes “every agrees with me of course” might find out they’re mistaken and be inspired to introspection. No downside there.

    All of which is made less valuable by the fact that I am a reader who was brought here by humor and style. Attitude excused by aviation is why I’m here and I’ve just been too lazy and hopeful to abandon this. Elimination of the comments section would probably do it for me though. I’m not an airline guy, don’t like politically slanted media (no matter what the slant) and really don’t want to support a place that believes that no one should be able to comment on what they put out. Heck I didn’t marry you!

    • A binary like or dislike of a comment or the article cannot possibly provide meaningful feedback to the commenter or author. It merely serves to boost their ego or denigrate them.

  86. I enjoy the comments. And sometimes I learn new things when I follow up on particular comments by researching their veracity online. Sure, there are some truly ignorant and shockingly obtuse comments. Especially where ideology and politics are concerned. It’s almost effortless to simply scroll past the ones that fit that bill! I would suggest that the site is better with the comments. Perhaps some moderation of rude or defamatory remarks is justified just because leaving such comments inflames and affects people’s perception of the site. However with that said I would strongly suggest that it be the editorial policy of AvWeb to abstain from making inflammatory political or ideological remarks within the published content. If nothing else, it sets an example for others to follow.

    Thank you all and please continue to allow dialogue rather than suppressing dissent by snuffing out all external communication. It’s a juvenile solution to a problem that most reasonably intelligent people can tolerate with aplomb. Or simply ban those unable to converse reasonably. You don’t want their business anyway, right?

  87. I found comments informative and would like to see them continue.

    I don’t partake in social media so perhaps have thicker skin than others. But when I see somebody moving off tangent, I just go to the next comment. Not sure why it is such big deal.

    Btw, I updated my profile and it seems to use my profile name for the post. So perhaps it is fixed?

  88. I prefer no comments.

    Yes, I read the comments. Yes, I make comments. But recently, the comments thread has become depressing, more than interesting, with overt racism and xenophobia, Pavlovian political ranting, and hate.

    While I have not made those type of comments, I admit that I, too, have made comments in haste that I wish I had not, and would delete if possible.

    Bottom line: Get rid of the comments and eliminate the hatred and rage that is sometimes expressed on this sitre.

      • It seems that you are in favor of the public expression of racism and hatred. How far we have fallen when someone such as yourself so openly revels in such beliefs.

  89. Readers don’t have to read comments if they don’t want to. Outrage about and calls to end comments reveal those who are inordinately bugged that others’ opinions are allowed to be expressed. But living in a thought bubble is important to some.

  90. Comments are a nice thing IF the comments stick to the topic at hand. So, what to do when some folks just want to rant? The answer – limit the number of words in comments which would require being concise, congent and coherent on the topic at hand. Long winded baloney simply won’t fit. As you see, some folks just want to rant to the rest of us. Of course, “we can skip reading” but that means missing the occasional truly salient thought. The cure is to force concise comment with word brevity over word bombast.

  91. I’ve not been able to log in for some time and so I could not comment though I rarely would have. Could never get my account fixed and so I was stuck in limbo. I voted twice, don’t know if both counted but if so both my votes have canceled each other.
    For what ever reason, perhaps the new software, I was able to log in and now comment as is evident with this post. As for the ability to comment or have comments to read, my time can usually be spend better not reading them or contributing to them. But as the result of both my votes, should they both have counted, I don’t care one way or another.

  92. I enjoy the comments as much as the articles. I like to see the many different viewpoints. Please allow the comments to continue with as little censership as decorum allows.

  93. Moderate the hell out of it and people will (eventually) figure it out. If the comment is about flying, fine. If it’s personal or political, toss it.

  94. Commentary from the readership should be permitted, subject to review for decency. Controversy, commentary, disagreement, and the setting out of diverging viewpoints is widely regarded as helpful in illustrating the wide view of the participating audience.

    The present platform allows for a cloak of anonymity in that one needs not reveal their real name. That enables the outrageous, and offers tools by which irritants and the more seedy of innuendo can be voiced without requiring the mantle of responsibility. Require real names.

    Break: AvWeb’s recent change in stewardship has been accompanied by what I perceive as a notable shift in content. Articles are far more representative of an author’s opinion than may have been seen in the past. Not quite ‘editorial’, but not entirely ‘news’. I offer as an example the half-commentary half-news presentation of the recent Supreme Court ruling as a drag on progress. Agree or disagree with the premise as you will, but the article clearly is an opinion as to the reprecussions of the decision. It was written under the header of ‘AvWeb Insider’, which does not convey an overt alert that what lay beneath was an editorial.

    That was a disappointment, and is not the only recent example of an AvWeb writer blending (or bending) a read to illustrate a personal position as fact. It was a lapse in journalistic ethics, and a telling slip. If the new Directors of AvWeb are going to continue to convey content in this manner, the integrity of the publication, the authors, and the ownership are certain to come under increasing question.

    Respectfully,

    Jeffrey Chipetine

    • And to then complain because readers have a different opinion about the Supreme Court decision the article went all nuclear about, well, that’s just plain disingenuous.

  95. I’m in favour of comments, but only if the person commenting is prepared to use his/her real name. If one has an opinion on any matter being prepared to stand by it is a matter of honesty and integrity.
    George Patton
    CNC4 Guelph, Ontario

  96. Hi, all! Thanks to AVweb for asking for input on this issue, and for the great website that keeps so many of us coming back. Several have made reference to the ‘town square’ aspect of the comments section, but I would respectfully submit that this isn’t that. AVweb is an edited aviation news site. There are several places to go on the Internet for those looking for a political town square. AVweb is where I go for curated aviation news.

    I say that as one who is guilty of posting comments myself, but think the more appropriate forum for a news-gathering site like AVweb is the ‘letters to the editor’ model. If someone has some truly valuable insight or correction to a story, they can communicate directly with the editors, who can then post those curated comments as time and space allow. Otherwise, if people wish to communicate directly with each other on their favorite aviation (or non-avition) related topics, they can engage with a forum like POA, PPRUNE, Reddit or Facebook that are built for that sort of thing.

    Have a great day, everyone!

  97. Vspeed, you are hilarious!

    In all the seriousness, you cut through and reminded everyone to chill out.

    And I agree, life is not complete if we cannot regularly make fun of the USAF.

  98. Leave the comments, please. You guys can moderate the trash talk, my index finger will moderate the rest.

  99. If you want AvWeb to be the virtual coffee shop for aviators, then leave comments turned on. But be prepared for the toxicity and emotional spewage to continually get worse. If you want to simply inform the aviation public with current news and facts and leave the coffee talk to take place in a tangible physical setting, then turn comments off. I prefer the latter.

  100. There’s a reason computer mice have scroll wheels. Keep the comments, I’ll scroll right past the ones that do not interest me–political or otherwise.

  101. Yes, on 2 conditions:
    1) Limit comments to 500 words or fewer
    2) Exercise your obligation as editors to edit out comments that contain non-aviation related gratuitous political or social commentary.

  102. Comments good (10 lines or less)
    A book is bad. This is not the place for a lengthy story!

  103. The comments here are invaluable to assess the range of pilot perceptions… as we move forward on unleaded avgas, as an example, it’s valuable to understand both the comprehension and misunderstandings that exist… so that they can be successfully addressed.

    • Good point. Having a staff writer or editor express only their OWN opinion isn’t informative–if I wanted only one person’s opinion, I could find it in an aviation textbook. It reminds me of the parental “because I told you so!”–no discussion–no rationale.

      I’ve been flying for over 60 years and nearly 30,000 hours–and have kept my aviation textbooks and magazines the entire time. It is amazing to look back at editorial comment and see how aviation has changed–consider “lean of peak” engine operation, for example–formerly forbidden by “aviation experts”–now an accepted practice.

      Especially in aviation, “we learn from the mistakes of others”–and readers should be free to view alternative approaches and experiences. Having only one person’s opinion sounds a lot like the parental “BECAUSE I TOLD YOU SO!” Let’s hear alternative viewpoints!

  104. I have to say that Russ’s purely political piece on the end of Chevron deference opened the door wide open for all kinds of political comments.

  105. I’d have no issue doing the moderator work on both the comments and the article itself. Any article that contains an opinion or wanders into politics will be flagged as Opinion Bias or Political or both. The comments will reflect the context of the article. Fact based article comments will be limited to the topic. Personal attacks will be deleted and the commentator will be ejected from the site. The power belongs to the reader, so use it wisely.

  106. I don’t suppose this will happen, but it seems like the comments might be a little less “provocative” (for lack of a better word – sorry) if everyone’s username were their actual name, first and last. I was a very active participant on a boating forum for years on which that was the policy – no hiding behind a username – and it seemed to help create a much more civil discourse. (Notice that my username is exactly that – my real first and last name.)

    • Oops! I lied! It’s my email. I usually do use my real name on forums. It’s Brian “Butch” Smith, btw.

  107. While there were many thoughtful and informed comments on the articles, there were way too many that were snarky, ignorant, and politically motivated. To expect the AvWeb staff to weed out the bottom dwellers is unreasonable. Far better to spend their time on interesting, relevant, and helpful content.

    Let those who feel the need to comment set up their own forum somewhere, where I predict it will devolve into petty sluggery in a very short time.

  108. I’m a frequent commenter. As a pilot and an engineer I try to add what I know on a story, adding some engineering analysis, to add to the article or try explain ‘what went wrong’.

    We do sometime spar with each other, but it’s usually our opinions ,not facts.

    So, I’m in favor of keeping comments.
    I do like the idea of ‘up/ down’ voting, as I see on other sites.
    Moderation is also ok with me.

    JimH in CA
    N8234T

    • BTW, to let folks know;
      I’m Jim Hughes, in Smartsville , CA
      I fly a Cessna 175B based at Marysville, CA, KMYV.

  109. Wanting an aviation site to restrict comments to aviation and to limit vitriol, name calling, and nonsensical hyperbole is not “censorship” nor is it a violation of “free speech.”

    There are plenty of sites that allow all kinds of nasty political commentary, including personal criticism of those with a different point of view. There are very few aviation sites that address GA – why allow such nastiness here?

    Keep the comments and (i) limit them to actual aviation content and (ii) remove comments that suggest that those with a different point of view are radicals, terrorists, communists, elites, useful idiots and all of the other dog whistle names we are all familiar with.

  110. I have enjoyed this site for its (mostly) objective reporting on aviation issues and have learned much from commenters providing their insight, expertise, wisdom and alternative viewpoints. I’m in favor or retaining this feature if there are adequate resources to moderate the content, i.e., separating the “wheat from the chaff” to keep replies centric to the subject. I also agree with validating a submitter’s credentials as reducing anonymity would go a long way to reducing controversial/irrelevant comments.

    Thanks for soliciting our input!

  111. The comments are informative and educational. I usually enjoy them more than the article. Keep comments coming.

  112. Wish we could keep comments clean, but most are nothing more than “meowing” on 121.5 to provoke the guard dogs into barking. Which is annoying and rarely informative or helpful. Of course I just turn it off, and don’t blame you if you do too.

  113. The scroll bar is there for a reason, and I’m not shy about using it when there’s some idiotic comment on the screen. So leave them enabled; some of the idiots are actually a little bit entertaining!

    Come the second week of November, half of the country is going to be absolutely insane. So, brace for impact!

  114. Mostly noise in the comments but sometimes I learn something. About 1 time in 100 I learn something really important or useful. Please keep the comments.

  115. There is still a bug- my screen name was deleted, and it substituted in my e-mail address. That is bad. Please delete comments with e-mail addresses or change them to screen names.

  116. I learn more from the comments than I do from the short articles, it helps put things in perspective. Although not a fan of never-ending politics, I find it sad that some can’t listen to views that they don’t hold. Are they so insecure in their positions that they can’t entertain another view?

  117. There will always be people who don’t know how to behave and compulsively inflict their opinions on others in inappropriate places. Such boors should simply be ignored. The (appropriate) comments are often insightful and educational. In the 40 years I’ve been aviating I’ve learned at least as much from these kinds of informal discussions as from more formal instruction and reporting. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

  118. Wow, a lot of comments!

    Let them leave comments – but only if they include their real full name. If you’ve got something to say – stand behind it. Otherwise – how about shutting up?

    I’m Rick Henderson, currently residing in Bixby, OK.

  119. The comments are often the best part of the articles.
    The short-form articles don’t lend themselves to full discussion of the issues raised, leading to either glossing over them without the comments, or fuller discussions (yes, sometimes with inappropriate sidebars) in the comments.
    On almost all online content, the comments are the meat of the discussion.
    Maybe sad, but still true.

  120. I prefer that comments be allowed, but if the moderation workload gets too heavy, I could see leaving them turned off temporarily during election season.

  121. Keep the comments. Nobody is forced to read them… or even see them. Readers can opt in or opt out. Let freedom of choice rule the day. Bill Kuykendall

  122. I enjoy reading comments and occasionally adding my own. Anything off-subject or rude should be deleted.

  123. It’s interesting that 3,499 folks voted on comments; 49 % for.
    But, there have been only 177 comments made , 10% of those voting ‘yes’ keep the comments .?
    So, a lot of folks read the articles, but few decide to comment.

    Jim Hughes

  124. Turn them off. The comments about “moderating the [extreme] content” suggest that you have a large staff of unbiased, informed, and trained moderators which I doubt AvWeb wants to pay for.
    As a side note, the marketing department at my aviation company decided it would be unwise to advertise here, due all the anger, bigotry and vitriol.

  125. That’s the conundrum with Free Speech! Everyone should have access to the public Soapbox .. HOWEVER we have some real knuckleheads out there who spoil it for everyone. Keep the comments please and everyone be civil please!

  126. Wow… The emal address harvesting bots are going to have a field day with this page. So far 102 instances of the “@” symbol being displayed on this page (now 103). Hopefully the editors will take the initiative to delete all of the comments on this article.

    Meanwhile, since the IT nerds screwed the pooch and allowed it to happen, here is how you fix it for you account moving forward (this will NOT replace your already-displayed email address from previous comments)

    Go into your account settings and you will find your “Display Name” blank (even though it is a mandatory field). Type something into that box, save, done.

  127. Yes, keep comments BUT allow “scoring” if someone posts that the reason the tire fell off an airliner was an affirmative action hire caused by the Biden administration with ZERO meaningful supporting details, allow thumbs down. A significant # of thumbs down triggers an admin peep, if it’s egregious then a significant downgrade in someone’s information score. ( You have to be logged in to vote.)
    Fall below, say 50% approval and you get a 3 month breather,

    Allow readers to select “sort by info quality” instead of most recent. I’d be very interested to hear an opinion from a maintenance veteran that included links to data or legislation in support of their conclusions. We have meaningful and empty responses on this site but the “Junk” has been outnumbering those informed and supported (meaningful supporting details) comments by quite a margin for some time.

    We, the audience could do a very effective job of censuring our peers with tools like this. IF you don’t have time to construct a supported and reasoned response THAT IS RELEVANT TO THE ARTICLE then we really don’t need to hear from you.

  128. I am in favor of leaving the comments off, after reading some of the trash in the comments section, I`ve wondered if it`s really worth maintaining my subscription to Avweb as it is anyway.

  129. As a low hour pilot I learn a lot from the more experienced pilots who post here. I am able to ignore the idiots. I know they irritate some of the readers am I’m guessing those are experienced pilots who don’t get much help from the comments. If you close comments I will miss a valuable resource and there aren’t many alternatives that don’t also have idiots commenting. My preference would be to ban those who want to make this a political forum. But if that is too much work, leave it open and I’ll benefit and just ignore the idiots. If others, who can’t stand the political rants, want to leave, let them. I’ll stay.

  130. I think it’s appropriate to allow comments, but I think you should make three changes that have worked well on other forums that I read:

    1. Require that people register with their real name. There are a handful of real a-holes in the comment section here who hide behind pseudonyms.

    2. Institute some form of content moderation. You may have to seek volunteer moderators.

    3. Allow other readers to “report” comments to bring them to the attention of the moderator. Some of the forum software that I’ve used will automatically suppress comments that are reported by more than some number of people until a moderator has had a chance to review them.

    • Oh, and if you’re not willing to take those three steps or other substantial measures to restore and maintain civility, then please turn comments off.

  131. I moderated a FB page for a New Jersey town. This meant I had to actually read every stupid, really stupid, and unbelievably stupid post to see if it broke the rules. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. My life improved just by quitting that job.

    Social media amplify all voices. And let’s face it: nobody wants to amplify the stupid voices. But we can’t agree on which voices are stupid.

    If people are going to leave this site because they can’t hear from the peanut gallery, then to truly serve them you should just throw chum into the water each week and let the sharks battle it out for everyone’s entertainment. Start with “Electric airplanes are the only way to save the planet,” and follow it with “climate change is a complete hoax.”

    I recognize that I am commenting to ask you to turn off commenting, but I live for irony.

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