West Virginia MetroNews has decided to discontinue the comments sections on stories.

Our comments sections have a long history, and this is not a decision we have made lightly.

At their best, the comments promote discussion among our readers and provide insight about topics important to us and our fellow West Virginians. Thank you to those of you who have provided thoughtful commentary over the years.

But too often, the comments sections have devolved.

We have had a longstanding battle over spammy postings for stay-at-home jobs. Like cockroaches, these junk posts cannot be killed. Where one is deleted another pops up.

More disheartening are insensitive statements and persistent arguments that flare up among some commenters, often under cloak of anonymity.

Frankly, we need to attend to other priorities beyond the attention required to consistently patrol the comments sections, to encourage healthy discourse and to weed out the offenders.

The most efficient step is what many other media organizations have decided to do, to shut down the comments.

The daily commentary by Hoppy Kercheval will continue to feature the option of public comments. And, of course, people may still continue to comment elsewhere on our social media platforms such as Facebook.

Otherwise, though, the comments on the MetroNews website are done.