Practitioners of journalism have a love-hate relationship with reader comments on stories. On the one hand, it can result in a constructive debate about an issue; on the other, it gives racists and hate-mongers a place to post their rants while hiding behind anonymity. It's a struggle to nurture the good ones and remove the...

Practitioners of journalism have a love-hate relationship with reader comments on stories. On the one hand, it can result in a constructive debate about an issue; on the other, it gives racists and hate-mongers a place to post their rants while hiding behind anonymity. It’s a struggle to nurture the good ones and remove the detritus.

There have been more than 1 million comments posted on seattletimes.com so far this year. That’s almost 3,000 per day.

The single threads with the most comments concerned topics that get people fired up: politics (in particular, the health-care legislation), crime and sports.

Here’s the Top-10 list:

(By the way, you’ll notice a difference a between the headline on the comment thread and the one on the story. That’s because the comments-thread headline keeps the first headline on the story when it’s posted, while the story shows the revised headline after more information is added to the story over time.)

1. Dems predict historic House vote on health care1,998 comments | Read story

2. Video shows officer hitting girl after she shoves him1,649 | Read story

3. McKenna says he’ll sue to block health-care law1,431 | Read blog post

4. Republican McKenna has Olympia Democrats seeing red1,173 | Read story

5. Sen. Patty Murray re-elected to fourth term1,170 | Read story

6. Seahawks fire coach Jim Mora1,127 | Read story

7. Trade Felix Hernandez to the Yankees? Worth looking into, but Mariners wouldn’t have stomach for it - 1,109 | Read blog post

8. After Washington rally, Beck assails Obama’s religion1,101 | Read story

9. Gibbs wants productive health care talks Thursday1,094 | Read story

10. UW-BYU game thread1,064 | Read blog post