MIT Press, 2015


“Reagle demonstrates how complex online commentary actually is, from questions of identity raised by selfies and sockpuppets to online debates both serious and silly. Reading the Comments makes it clear how vital the web’s marginalia has become as a cultural outlet.”
Clay Shirky, Associate Professor, New York University, and author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody

“Reagle approaches ‘the bottom of the web’ with the insight—and humor—the topic deserves. By urging us to take seriously an aspect of the digital ecosystem many of us try to ignore, Reagle skillfully navigates a landscape of virulent abuse, shameless promotion, and legitimate insight hidden in the comments and reviews of the web. This is a must-read for people trying to understand the challenges of encouraging productive participation online.”
Ethan Zuckerman, Director, Center for Civic Media, MIT

“In Reading the Comments, Joseph Reagle exposes the powerful social, cultural, and political implications of comments in the digital age. Entertaining and informative, critical and insightful, this book is an eye-opener for anyone who has ever written a comment, clicked the like button, or asked ‘WTF?’ when reaching the ‘bottom of the web.’
Limor Shifman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of Memes in Digital Culture


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Aronczyk, M. (2016). Likers, haters, and manipulators at the bottom of the web. New Media & Society, 18(4), 677–679.

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Weisberg, J. (2016, February 25). We are hopelessly hooked. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved from

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Thompson, S. A. (2015). Book review: Reading the comments: Likers, haters, and manipulators at the bottom half of the Web. Consumption Markets & Culture, 1–3.

McMillan, L. (2015, October). Review. Retrieved November 19, 2015, from

Ulmi, N. (2015, November 6). The dark, decaying underbelly of online commenting. World Crunch. Retrieved from

Comment survivre à l'ère du commentaire. (2015, October 21). Le Temps. Retrieved from

Nagle, A. (2015, October 1). Take that: Review of Reading the Comments. Dublin Review of Books. Retrieved from

Pasquale, F. (2015, September 28). How to tame an Internet troll. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

Brabazon, T. (2015, August 27). Reading the comments: Likers, haters, and manipulators at the bottom of the web, by Joseph M. Reagle Jr. Times Higher Education. Retrieved from

"Reading the Comments" Summary. (2015, July 27). Retrieved July 27, 2015, from (Also appeared in Vietnam News (2015, July 31) and Business Traveler (2015, July 30).)

Kalpokas, I. (2015, July 24). Book review: Reading the comments: Likers, haters, and manipulators at the bottom of the web. Retrieved July 24, 2015, from

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Barekat, H. (2015, June 6). Encounters with the nastiest people on the Internet. The Spectator. Retrieved from

Strom, D. (2015, March 27). Faking Internet comments and reviews [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Interviews and Articles

Reagle, J. (2015, September 22). Online comment: Likers, haters and manipulators at the bottom of the web media. Utne Reader Online. Retrieved from

Salvo, P. D. (2015, July 9). Perché dobbiamo leggere i commenti. Retrieved from

Reagle, J., & Quaintance, M. (2015, May 24). Whitney Phillips and Joseph M.Reagle. Retrieved June 1, 2015, from

Reagle, J. (2015, May 26). How do internet trolls justify their nasty, misogynist, life-ruining behavior? Retrieved June 1, 2015, from

Reagle, J. (2015, May 22). Oops: “This is what life is like in the world of social media”. Pop Matters. Retrieved from

Reagle, J., & Munson, J. (2015, May 26). Reading the comments. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from

Reagle, J., & Guiney, N. (2015, May 24). Ideas: Is it worth reading the comment section? The Boston Globe. Retrieved from

Mulligan, J., & Reagle, J. (2015, April 27). Joseph Reagle and his book looking at comment culture. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from

Reagle, J. (2015, April 30). The social graph won't save us from what's wrong with online reviews. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Scott, D. (2015, March 5). Why I've posted 27,000 times to one online forum [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Carroll, M. S. (2015, January 9). Commenting on comments: Why are comments on stories so awful & how can we improve them? [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Lynch, T. W., & Reagle, J. (2014, March 10). Taming the trolls: An interview with Web culture guru Joseph Reagle. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from