John Huppenthal, the Republican public schools chief in Arizona, announced yesterday that he will not quit in the face of controversy over his once-anonymous blog comments. Under the usernames Falcon9 and Thucydides, Huppenthal suggested, among other things, that Spanish language should be outlawed in the United States.
Since last Wednesday, there has been no comment activity on this site. As disorienting as our day-to-day has been without witty insights, well thought-out critiques, demoralizing complaints about the current state of Gawker, and requests to rehire Richard Lawson, I'm happy to announce that this Thursday, the new comment system will be unveiled.
For those of you who participated in Gawker's long-standing starred commenter system, you'll be very disappointed to know that those perky little yellow insignias you worked so hard for are now gone forever. We do appreciate your contributions in coming weeks, as our new commenting system is rolled out on this site. The best way for readers who want their comments to be a vital part of the discussion is to take a more economical and thoughtful approach. To commemorate this sea change, Gawker.com will disable commenting privileges tomorrow, starting at 6 a.m.
Currently, Anil Dash is prepping for his SXSW panel chat with Nick Denton about the 'failure' of internet comments by having a civilized discussion with a Mount Rushmore of internet experts and it is calm and informative. Do you think we can have a similar discussion without calling each other cockfaced assholes and be free of bannings or de-starrings? Meet me in the section below and we shall see.
In this wild "new media" world, it's important for all of us—respectable newspapers and parasitic oxpeckers alike—to share freely, in a spirit of holiday cheer. So we were happy to see this morning that the New York Times has decided to borrow our commenting system. It's really the least we can do for you guys!