Banning comments [on blog posts and articles]—or moderating with an iron fist—is not squelching honest and open debate in the public sphere, anymore than refusing to publish every letter to the editor, unedited, in a print publication. Telling people to take their bullshit to Reddit is not a harbinger of Orwellian dystopia.

You know who wants you to think it is? Trolls. Haters. The kind of people who find it hilarious to post violent pornographic images on a website run by women, just because it is run by women. These people aren’t concerned about the openness of public discourse, but about their own ability to get attention. If they’re forced to publish only on their own blogs and Twitter feeds, or on sites with less civilized rules for discourse, they’ll have no audience, because a very limited number of people will actually want to read the opinions of dudes who think harassment equals humor, or that every citizen deserves to waltz into a stranger’s workplace and give her hell for doing her job, every day.

–Kate Harding on banning comments.