Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Title text: 'Nuh-uh! We let users vote on comments and display them by number of votes. Everyone knows that makes it impossible for a few persistent voices to dominate the discussion.'
This comic looks at most every comment section in the history of the internet. The comic itself takes on sites that display comments in the order received. Lots of major newspapers do this and it helps only in showing what sort of lunatics read and comment on newspaper articles. Most of the time, the comments section is not worth reading.
However, the title text takes on sites like Reddit  that sort the comments by number of votes. The most popular comments go right to the top. This is certainly an improvement, but Randall uses this quotation in the title text sarcastically. In that, he doesn't believe it, in fact he believes just the opposite.
- [A bar graph with two bars. The first bar is much taller than the second. It is marked '$1,500,000', and below the x-axis, is labelled "Cost to buy an ad on every story on a major news site every day until the election. The second bar is much shorter, marked "$200,000', and labelled "Cost to pay five college students $20/hour to camp the site 24/7 and post the first few comments the moment a story goes up, giving you the last word in every article and creating an impression of peer consensus.]
- The problem with posting comments in the order they're submitted.
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ refresh comments!
Consistent posting order . . . .
You know, I think you're right, Blaisepascal. That's a good point. SilverMagpie (talk) 00:29, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
With a Wiki, you can edit the posting order any way you want, there's no reason you have to add your comments to the bottom Blaisepascal (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
First!! (ok, bad joke...)--B. P. (talk) 19:36, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I personally prefer seeing comments in chronological order, especially if the respondents reply to each other. I find it very annoying to see the reply before I've had a chance to read the original. The current comment system on Slate (where not only do new comments appear first, the page defaults to auto-updating, so the comments move down the page as you are trying to read them) is especially horrible. Blaisepascal (talk) 20:15, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
- I prefer threaded discussions. Chronological is close enough for short discussions, but threaded makes it so much easier to find read all the replies a comment got. (Yes, I know I'm replying to a year-old post.) gijobarts (talk) 07:06, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes it is. Just some random derp 23:47, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
. . . . is overrated. 18.104.22.168 17:01, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
I have the same interpretation as the current explanation, yet the "Incomplete" text says there are other interpretations. What are they? Smperron (talk) 15:52, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
This is precisely why Digg failed and now Reddit will fail. The moment the owners think they can manipulate discussions is the moment any discussion has any real value. 22.214.171.124 02:53, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if this cartoon was the inspiration for the Russian trolling operations targeted at the US 2016 Presidential elections and the subsequent European elections. 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)