Crunchyroll completely removes all comments – and users understand why

Anthony McGlynn
Tanjiro in Demon Slayer Season 4

Crunchyroll has decided to close comment sections across the entire platform, and though the change is sudden, users aren’t against it.

As a major purveyor of the best anime outside Japan, Crunchyroll boasts a large and dedicated subscriber base. The service’s substantial audience has grown significantly in recent years thanks to being acquired alongside Funimation and then merged with said rival by Sony.

For much of this time, account holders could express themselves through comments on anime shows and a bespoke news blog. That particular avenue has been shuttered, for all the reasons you would expect.

“We prioritize creating a safe and respectful community environment,” an official statement reads. “To maintain this standard, we are hiding all existing user-generated content, including comments and reviews, across all our platforms and experiences.”

The company “encourages” feedback on social media instead, and user ratings are still active as well. Further comment from Crunchyroll support adds: “This change helps us reduce harmful content, prevent misinformation, and improve overall user experience.”

That first part is something account holders agree on. “Every episode had roughly 300-400 comments and if I ever felt compelled to scroll beyond the first 50ish comments I would regularly see homophobic or racist stuff buried a little further down,” one Redditor comments.

“Comments were a cesspool,” says another, who then states that they’d rather companies would seek heavier moderation than shuttering forums. This seems like a nuclear option, when a sterner hand could have preserved the sense of community on the platform itself.

Unfortunately, the reality is more complex. “The bot problem is massive and it’s never going to be solved,” a commenter on Reddit who claims to work in content moderation says. “We can slow them down for a while through actions like banning users, blocking key phrases and the like, but they just find a way to get around it and to develop further.”

They add that comment management isn’t cheap, and probably too far above what these companies are willing to pay to allow users the privilege. Anyone who works in public-facing media will tell you, comment sections and community management can require more energy, vigilance, and labour than you’d think.

Eventually, you have to wonder if having the option there is worth it, and for most, the answer is simply no. Check out our guides on Tower of God Season 2, Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, and My Hero Academia Season 7, for the major shows you can catch on Crunchyroll right now.

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