Nilay Patel, writing for The Verge:
What we've found lately is that the tone of our comments (and some of our commenters) is getting a little too aggressive and negative — a change that feels like it started with GamerGate and has steadily gotten worse ever since. It's hard for us to do our best work in that environment, and it's even harder for our staff to hang out with our audience and build the relationships that led to us having a great community in the first place.
That's a bad feedback loop, and we want to stop it. So we're going to call timeout for a while and turn comments off by default on all posts for the next few weeks.
Nilay teased this move in a community post a couple weeks ago (that I sadly can't find now), and I have to admit I didn't think he'd actually go through with it. Happy to be proven wrong.
I've all but given up on The Verge as of late, but it's great to see them doing something that will help their staff create a more productive environment. As someone who loathes comments sections, I can't imagine what it must be like for the people who actually make their living writing for these sites, only to trudge into the comment bog and find themselves ass-deep in viscous communal bile being expelled from the gullets of anonymous fuckwits who have taken it upon themselves to serve no purpose other than making people's lives miserable.
He promises they'll be back after the Summer. If it were up to me, I'd switch them off and never look back. Any good that comments sections bring in terms of valuable discussion and the healthy expansion of a community is overshadowed by the inevitable trolling and rampant cynicism by those who would rather let their ids drive every anonymous interaction in their lives.