Comment closure explained

Technical difficulties have been resolved

- July 14, 2011

Comments closed
Comments closed

Update (2:30 pm, July 14): commenting has now been restored on Dal News. The story below has been updated to reflect this.

You may have noticed that comments were recently down across the Dal News website.

Yesterday, our comment moderating system stopped functioning properly. All Dal News comments are reviewed prior to their being posted on the web. While we're often impressed by the depth and substance of our online discussion, as a public website we still get a lot of spam comments, not to mention submissions that are sometimes defamatory, inflammatory or otherwise of concern.

At some point Wednesday afternoon, comments unexpectedly started being posted without review. As well, we heard from some in the university community who posted a comment that simply disappeared into our system, never appearing for review as it should have.

Given that we couldn't ensure that anything with the comment system was working the way it should, the decision was made to close comments across the site until we can be certain the moderation system is functioning properly.

This is not the first time this has happened—a similar concern happened earlier this year—but the timing was less than ideal, considering we had a couple of new stories online starting to generate vibrant discussion. We had hoped the outage to be short-lived, but the issue proved more difficult to solve than expected. With our web team's hard work, we were able to get the comment feature back up this afternoon, with all approved comments returned to the site.

We wish to extend our apologies to anyone inconvenienced or concerned by the comment closure. It's great to know that people are reading our content, and as such, ever the more frustrating when we disappoint, even when it's due to factors beyond our immediate control.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ryan McNutt, who is serving as substitute editor this week, at

- The Dal News team


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