In the early days of ATL... the comments were amazing.... Today the comments are not what they once were. Although occasionally insightful or funny, ATL comments nowadays are generally fewer in number, not very substantive (often just inside jokes among the commentariat), yet still often offensive. They also represent a very small percentage of our total traffic (as we can tell because of the click required to access them).This is like a lovers' quarrel: You changed! In the lovers' quarrel context, when that line comes up, what's the next line? I think it's: You never really knew me.
It’s not clear how or why our comments changed in number and quality....
... [N]umerous websites have eliminated their comments sections in recent years, largely because they felt that the comments were not adding sufficient value and that discussion had migrated to social media....So it's not like a lovers' quarrel, because it's not a face-to-face discussion. It's the writer on one side and whoever all those people are who choose to respond in that writer's space, the comments section. The writer feels that in the old days, a different sort of person came around. It's not that those people changed. Those people left, having found better places to write — Facebook, Twitter, etc. — and the people who are here now are not changed people. They're different people.
That made me think of a line from "Grizzly Man": "He discovered that many of his bear friends had gone into hibernation and scary, unknown and wilder bears from the interior had moved in."