Follow Yahoo's lead and ELIMINATE READER COMMENTS.
FBI Director Christopher Wray was interviewed this morning (watch the exchange on non-partisan CSPAN for confirmation). He said there is overwhelming proof that Russia and China, but predominantly Russia, is making a very real and concentrated effort to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, as they did in 2016, but this time -- so far -- it is through social media, fake journals, and INTERACTIVE READER COMMENTS IN RESPONSE TO ARTICLES POSTED ON POPULAR WEB SITES. He did not specifically mention AOL, but it stands to reason that AOL is in the same group as Yahoo, which suspended reader comments almost a month ago out of concern for propagating divisiveness. I have been voting since JFK was elected, so I've been around the block a few times and watched America become much more involved in every aspect of society as a result of the evolvement of the Internet. While this has proved positive in many ways, I truly fear it has given those bent on misinformation and sowing seeds of hatred a huge foothold into the minds of those who are not willing to separate the wheat from the chafe. From the comments I've read -- which are, unfortunately, addicting in a negative way -- it's obvious there are very, very biased people out there who are repeatedly posting the same things, unrooted in fact, and meant to rile up readers' emotions. AOL is contributing to the growing hatred. If you required photos and real names before commenting, your comments would be reduced significantly, because a fake moniker is just a wall behind which posters can air their innermost, immoral, evil thoughts. AOL can join Yahoo in bringing respect and civility back to American society by eliminating comments. Your "new" civility requirements are not effective, since it's obvious they are based on key words setting off flags. The ridiculous part of this is that a word that is not recognized -- one that includes what some might consider offensive, such as "***" that appears within another word, such as "trespass" or "compass," results in the comment being unapproved. The ugly insults and hate, couched in middle school level words or that passes approval of your sysops because the writer inserts a space within the intended word, still gets published. With thousands of comments written every day, I totally understand it is impossible for a thinking human to be personally monitoring the comments. That is all the more reason to end commenting.