NPR's comments section is going off the air.

cassette radio (Malekas85, ThinkStock)

National Public Radio announced Wednesday that comments on will be disabled beginning Aug. 23. The feature has been part of the site since 2008.

Scott Montgomery, NPR's managing editor for digital news, says the news organization made the decision because NPR's audience is more engaged on social media. He says about 19,400 commenters were active in July compared with the more than 5 million on Twitter.

The news organization says it does not have any legal obligation to provide a comments section because NPR indirectly receives federal funding.

Other news organizations that have ended online commenting in the past include Reuters, Popular Science and The Week.

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