New York Times‘ Dominique Brossard and Dietram Scheufele report:
The Web, it should be said, is still a marvelous place for public debate. But when it comes to reading and understanding news stories online — like this one, for example — the medium can have a surprisingly potent effect on the message. Comments from some readers, our research shows, can significantly distort what other readers think was reported in the first place.
Shutting down the comment section makes this site much less dramatic.