The New York Times Has Smart Commenters, CNN Doesn’t

Here is another thing for New York Times readers to feel smug about: According to a study, the comments on the newspaper’s website are the smartest among six top news sites. Tim Libert, a web developer for NYU’s journalism department, recently surveyed the comment sections on the Times, CNN, MSNBC, Wired, ZDNet and the UK’s The Register, and found that the conversations on the Times were just plain smarter.

Libert initially conducted the research to learn what people thought of the hacking group LulzSec, but while doing that he noticed patterns in the way people commented on the sites. Times readers’ comments were “thoughtful and nuanced,” while CNN comments had “a significant amount of name-calling, off-topic comments and what I suspect were fake accounts,” wrote Libert. MSNBC comments weren’t much better than CNN’s, as they tended to feature “long-winded personal attacks.”

There you have it. More completely scientific and undeniable proof that people who read the New York Times are smarter than everyone else. If any non-Times readers dispute this, they’re probably just jealous.

Publish date: September 21, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT