Yes, we were kidding. Obviously. But seriously:
We value the amazing community we have here, and look forward to reading what you have to say, even though we can't always talk to each one of you directly through e-mail or comments (Anna previously linked to this great post Andrew Sullivan had about how trying to spend 1 minute a month interacting with 10,000 readers would take forty hours a week.) Patrolling the comments is an overwhelming job, so let's also offer thanks to Hortense, who somehow, day after day, manages to keep things in line.
And for the newbies, let's remember: Commenting on this site, as we have said before, is a privilege and not a right. So please. Behave yourselves. Read the post, and the article which made the writer want to post in the first place. No threadjacking. No super-personal information. No feeding of trolls. No getting catty in Snap Judgments, which are not there as a "set up" but as fun, breathing room between text posts. (If you want to make comments about the weight and anatomy of women, there are PLENTY of places to do so; this is not one of them.)
The posts which went up earlier today will gradually have their comments turned back on, so feel free to go back and revisit — and comment — on the ones you liked! And here are some of the responses to our prank:
A blogger from another site (via IM):
oh my god
you are amazing
I'm so jealous
Our hero Sarah Haskins Twittered about the comments outage!
From someone at a law firm:
I am not sure why I am writing this as I undoubtedly have billable work to do but it saddens me that you think Jezebel needs silence to grow. While many of the comments were incendiary and/or ignorant, there were also many supportive and insightful comments that frankly made Jezebel more than just the blog you go to for snap judgments. I realize that the blog might not belong to the readers, the public or the commenters but disabling the comment section will cheapen the experience. I understand that moderating comments must take the time of two full time jobs, and I have to admit I thought it odd when the site implemented a comment moderator. This may seem to disagree with my earlier statement but comments should not be given the power to take over the site. As an adult, you choose what to read and how to respond. Readers can skip over comment threads they find distasteful (especially with the new feature which neatly held comments and responses together). I guess my point is it would be a shame to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I don't have a blog or comment that much on blogs but I always liked the fact that blogs were more about discourse than the traditional media outlets and I especially enjoyed the discourse at Jezebel. So just one of probably a million voices saying, I hope you change your mind.
From someone with a sense of entitlement:
As a loyal Jezebel reader, I just have to say that I think your doing away with comments is doing a disservice to the site and to your readers. Jezebel is a living and breathing organism and your loyal readers and commenters make up the tissue to the organs - especially the lungs and the vocal chords.
I think it's awesome that Anna had a moment of clarity in her "walkabout", but I don't believe that the application of her own personal epiphany is appropriate for the thousands of people that enjoy commenting on Jezebel.
Being able to comment not only gives us the ability to give feedback on items that the editors/writers/contributors post but it gives us the ability to bounce ideas and experiences off of one another so that we may see another side of the argument - that may not be yours or our own. It also gives us the opportunity to put the editors/writers/contributors in check every now and then - because eeeevery blue moon, you guys will go way out into left field and post something that was not well thought out.
And now what do you expect us to do? Just sit back and take what you say as law?
Well, yes, actually, because we work here? But. Moving on.
This person had a tone of resignation:
I'm sure you don't care for my opinion, but I feel like the comments add a lot to discussions and show different sides to an issue. As Jezebel has grown more and more popular, it's obvious that the more people read and post, the harsher some comments may be. This is just a reaction to growth.
This site was really refreshing to me because it isn't like PerezHilton.com or TMZ or even news websites where uneducated, constantly hateful people post insulting and demeaning comments, but nonetheless it's your choice.
This person was amused, yet frustrated:
That is one funny-ass April Fool's joke. And I, like so many others, am STEAMED that I can't sit down and say something hilarious about it! How perfect your prank is! It gets us all in the softest part of our underbelly, our weakness, our Achilles heel, our opiate and our downfall. Mad props Jez editors. Ah ha ha ha ha ha. (As a serious aside, it might actually be a good idea. For all the reasons, honest to God, that you wrote in the prank post, minus the odd Australian cliches.)
This person almost lost thousands of dollars:
You know, I was just about to toss my Mac out a window over this news, until I looked at the calendar.
VERY good one. And now I will ratchet my blood pressure back down. This site encompasses my entire social life. Which, if the content and commenters weren't as fab as they are, would be just sad.
From someone PISSED!:
It is arrogant to just silence your community without any notice ahead of time. It is, honestly, oppressive. You seem to want your voices and your brand of feminism to be the only voice heard. Is that really what Jezebel was started for?
From someone RUDE:
Do you guys honestly believe we read Jezebel for the posts? Seriously, I don't care if you guys are getting *~*married*~* and why do people still booty call me, and what dress should I wear and all that bullshit. I sift through those posts in order to read intelligent, funny commentary from other Jez commenters on stories that are important to me - stories that you post in between posting the self-indulgent bullshit and petty feuds with commenters that have been appearing more and more.
From someone pleased:
Finally, an end to the caterwauling by all those premenstrual nagging harpies.
Haha, we love the wink behind that one!
From some passive-aggressive ill-mannered person:
Congrats on the engagements, but we don't care as much as you think we do.
This person was just nasty:
I am disgusted that the editorial staff would remove the commenting option so suddenly, and without debate. I find it very disturbing that the comments have been disallowed because of the editor's dislike over the lack of control over goings on. I feel as though when you invest in a site such as this, you do expect some kind of accountability on behalf of those who control it.
This woman will start talking to her pals again!
Love it. Frees up a lot of my time, too, as I often seem to end up in some kind of comment-reading quagmire where I want to stop reading but can't! If I like something enough to want to talk about it with my friends I will share on Facebook, or send an email or something. Keep up the good work.
From someone completely, hilariously unhinged:
TO WHOM IT MAY BACON:
SINCE I COULDN'T THREADJACK ABOUT BACON THIS YEAR I'M JUST BACON TO BACON YOUR BACON BACON. BACON BACON BACON AND BACON BACON THROUGH BACON YET BACON ARE BACON BACON. BACON BACON SAUSAGE BACON ZAC EFRON I AM BASICALLY JUST A PARODY OF MYSELF AT THIS POINT AND YOU GUYS PROBABLY WANT TO BANNINATE ME FOR GOOD. BACON BACON COCKS. I AM NEVER
POSTING AGAIN. BUTTS.
From someone trying to bargain:
Last year, being bought by Conde Nast. This year, comments. Seriously, utterly genius April Fools jokes. I completely panicked and then remembered what day it is. So enjoy your comment-free day (relax ladies! Take a much-needed break!), and we'll be back talking tomorrow?
Well we're not taking a "break," as we are still putting something up every 10 or 15 minutes and short-staffed, but thanks?
From someone PSYCHED:
I know you may be getting some negative feedback, so I wanted to be sure to send some positive feedback as well. Definitely a bold, bold move, but I believe your assessment to be 100% accurate.
Hopefully this will encourage more edgy, thought-provoking articles - can't wait!
From someone relieved :
Thank you for removing the comments! Now I can read the stories & not feel irritated/offended by the commentary that follows. I love Jezebel & appreciate everything you girls do to promote tolerance & awareness as well as decrease ignorance on all sorts of subjects. I really have learned so much since I started to read Jezebel on a daily basis, so thank you!
I am so excited to go back to focusing on the stories, and not the commentary. I will miss Hortense's input and hope she continues to be a part of the site.
Someone with business advice:
Without comments your site will be out of business in less than 3 months. Not to be rude, but way to ruin a great site.
Gotta love this comment:
horrors! no comments! now i might actually have to... READ THE ARTICLES! GASPSHOCK
chill the fuck out everybody
A fan of the "new" format:
I actually thought to myself before I saw the post about why there were no comments that it was sort of a relief not to have them anymore. It was oddly liberating to NOT see 100 other points of view that may or may not be on-topic.
In addition, we saw utter MADNESS on Facebook threads, and a few awesome tumblr posts. Anyway, the comments are on in this post, so have at it — and happy April Fools Day!