Is io9 censoring science fiction writers?
io9 likes to say they come from the future– but it seems that the future in question is 1984 or Brave New World.
We’ve received a number of reports about io9’s, shall we say, stringent commenter policies, many of which are discussed in their FAQ. Lately, they’ve been kicking more commenters off. This is not unheard of in comment management in general, and certainly they said they would– but the people being kicked off are science fiction writers and editors who have been calling io9 to task on many obvious factual errors in their articles. Since their site does a lot with science fiction, we wonder why they’re refusing comments from practitioners in the field. (The writers and editors have requested anonymity, as they don’t particularly want to start a flame war, particularly with a media outlet the size of io9.)
Now, we understand the temptation to limit comments, particularly from the great unwashed who might not be Gawker-media level cool, and fans can just be soooo unhip </sarcasm> but we can at least understand the appeal of snobbery. But cutting off dissenting voices, particularly those who point out any number of minor factual errors, just strikes us as dumb.
Personally, we here at ComicMix think that the best kind of comments come from thoughtful, knowledgeable people who add information about a topic or correct errors– and the second best are from other commenters who correct the people who mistakenly think they’re in the first category.
Maybe that plate sewn on the head of their logo avatar is designed to prevent new ideas from coming in?