But there are things that we said we would not allow, including personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech. Because a significant number of folks who have posted in this blog have refused to follow any of those relatively simple rules, we’ve decided not to allow comments for the time being. It’s a shame that it’s come to this. Transparency and reasoned debate are crucial parts of the Web culture, and it’s a disappointment to us that we have not been able to maintain a civil conversation, especially about issues that people feel strongly (and differently) about. —Jim Brady, Executive Editor, washingtonpost.com —Comments Turned Off (post.blog [Washington Post])
It was becoming a burden for the editors to remove the personal attacks and name-calling.
Slashdot has an interesting multi-tier reputation-management system, in which randomly-selected members who fit a general profile are given moderation points that they can use to rank certain posts higher or lower. Visitors to the site can set their filtering level to the lowest (to view everything, even the pointless junk) or the highest (to view only those entries considered by the group to be the most important). If an individual poster’s comments are regularly moderated up, that poster accumulates karma, which can be “spent” by moderating your own post up, if you feel you have something truly important to say. The system has been working for years, and my description of it doesn’t really do it justice. Whoops, I’m being called away. So I’ll just refer you to Slashdot Moderation.