Do user comments belong to jour­na­li­stic artic­les? A brief visual history of user inter­ac­tion on selec­ted German and Ameri­can news websi­tes 1996–2024 (2024)

Peer reviewed / Buchveröffentlichung


The chapter reconstructs a brief history of online commenting, based on the position comments have to journalistic articles on news websites. Its key assumption is derived from paratext theory: Changes in spatial and temporal proximity of texts in the periphery of a main text––such as comments on the same web page as a journalistic article as compared to posts in a separate forum––indicate controversies over relevance of participants in a public discourse. Studying transformations of online comments is thus considered an access point to studying histories of public spheres. With help of a software the authors and colleagues developed, changes in commenting sections are traced and visualized. These changes are detected in a data sample of archived web pages provided by the Internet Archive.


Paßmann, Johannes, Martina Schories and Paul Heinicker (2024, i. E.): “Do user comments belong to journalistic articles? A brief visual history of user interaction on selected German and American news websites 1996–2024”, in: Jean-Christophe Peyssard and Sophie Gebeil (Ed.): Exploring the Archived Web in a Transformative Age. Florence.

Weitere Beiträge

The Tech­no­­graph: Buil­­ding an instru­­ment for visu­a­­li­­sing and analy­­sing web archive data


Presentation at RESAW Conference 2023, Marseille, by Johannes Paßmann, Lisa Gerzen and Martina Schories

weiter lesen