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The Daily Mail Online is an online news outlet in the UK which provides a comment section for each new article they publish. Sometimes the comment sections are moderated and other times they are turned off entirely. On their FAQ page they say this is "usually for legal reasons":

Why are comments not allowed under some articles?
We do not allow comments under some articles or blogs. This is usually for legal reasons.

Despite this the Daily Mail still runs a Twitter account where they post most of their news articles including the articles that have had their comments disabled. This means people are still able to comment on the news article, but only from a third party website.

At this point it seems more likely they are disabling the comment sections because they don't have the resources to moderate a very popular news story.

Before I jump to conclusions, are you aware of any legal reasons why they would have to disable the comments section on their website?

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    Legal reasons can be "We don't want to have to reply to subpoenas to help identify people that commented illegal stuff"
    – Trish
    Aug 15 at 21:30

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Like many other jurisdictions, in the UK sites like the Daily Mail are liable for the content they host. In other words, the legal issue here is they either do not have the staff available to (or simply do not want to) spend the time moderating the comment sections in order to remove potentially defamatory or otherwise illegal content.

As Lag added in a comment below: another legal reason may be liability for publishing something that creates a substantial risk of seriously impeding or prejudicing the course of justice in some ongoing legal proceeding. Far easier to prevent it beforehand than moderate it (and risk missing it) later.

Content on Twitter (for example, replies to their own tweets), on the other hand, is not the Daily Mail's problem to moderate.

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    Another legal reason may be liability for publishing something that creates a substantial risk of seriously impeding or prejudicing the course of justice in some ongoing legal proceeding. As you suggest, far easier to prevent it beforehand than moderate it (and risk missing it) later.
    – Lag
    Aug 16 at 7:54
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    Interesting, what about content hosted on something like Disqus, embedded in your site? They're technically hosting it, where does the liability lie?
    – JMK
    Aug 16 at 15:41
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    @JMK That's probably worth its own question.
    – Michael
    Aug 16 at 16:46

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