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The Source: What We Say Online | The Why Axis

The number of comments on this story about a 107-year-old man who died in a shootout with police reached 134, many of which were personal attacks on people who commented.

In the first segment:

Scientific American and  Popular Science will no longer allow users to comment online saying: "Comments can be bad for science," citing the skewing abilities of a minority on long-established scientific beliefs such as evolution and climate change.

This is a more dramatic decision than most websites take towards online trolls, people who start arguments, fly off topic, and generally disrupt normal conversation and debate in the online comments section.  

The San Antonio Express-News has linked its online comments section to other online accounts a person has, making it more difficult to post anonymously on its pay site. We'll talk with mysa.com Web Content Manager Mike Howell about their experiences with online commentary as well as with Professor Talia Stroud, assistant director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Engagement at UT-Austin, about how the industry as a whole is responding.  

In the second segment:


Addressing large social problems means looking at the real motivations behind everyday human action, and that is what Uri Gneezy and John List attempt to do in their new book "The Why Axis."  The two are responsible for several innovative studies and experiments to get to the heart of what changes behavior.  

In doing so they believe they can close the education gap, reduce violence, and a better a host of social ills. The two economics professors join us to talk about the book.

*The Source airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM - audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org