Articles about "comments"


Re/code joins the list of news orgs cutting comments

Re/code

Re/code’s Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg wrote on Thursday that comments are now gone from the site.

We thought about this decision long and hard, since we do value reader opinion. But we concluded that, as social media has continued its robust growth, the bulk of discussion of our stories is increasingly taking place there, making onsite comments less and less used and less and less useful.

My colleague Andrew Beaujon included a list of other news orgs that no longer take comments on their sites in a Nov. 7 story about Reuters ending comments.

Now here are some Twitter comments about Re/code ending comments:

Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Reuters ends comments on news stories

Reuters

Reuters will no longer allow comments on news stories, it says in an unsigned editor’s note Friday. Discussion has moved to “social media and online forums,” the note says, and “Those communities offer vibrant conversation and, importantly, are self-policed by participants to keep on the fringes those who would abuse the privilege of commenting.”

Comments will still be allowed on opinion pieces and blog posts, the notice says.

The Huffington Post announced last year it would end anonymous comments. Sam Kirkland reported later that year that the change would require commenters to register with Facebook, something many people weren’t terribly keen on (based on the comments I read).

Some sites have eliminated comments altogether: Popular Science doinked them last September, and the Chicago Sun-Times eliminated them this summer, saying they contributed to a “morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content.”

Related: Anonymous comments can be ‘a frothing, bubbling cauldron of insanity’ Read more

Tools:
11 Comments

Why are so many news organizations still worried about retweets by staffers?

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day, and from Kristen Hare, a world roundup):

— At Reuters, Jack Shafer picks up on my piece yesterday about how so many news organizations — with The New York Times being a notable exception — still seem afraid of reporters’ retweets coming across as endorsements: “Are NPR, the AP, and Reuters’s editorial reputations really so fragile that a 140-character tweet or retweet by a staffer can blow the whole thing down?”

— Three months into the “temporary” Chicago Sun-Times comments ban, publisher and editor-in-chief Jim Kirk tells Robert Feder “he’s heard no complaints lately and he’s seen no drop-off in online traffic.” Comments should return with a new CMS “sometime around the fourth quarter.”

— BuzzFeed’s director of editorial products, Alice DuBois, on the photo “slide things” in popular posts lately: “I do think there’s a part of the editorial mission to keep pushing and experimenting,” she tells Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon.

— The Dallas Morning News has abandoned its “premium” website, which was ad-free and aimed to be more nicely designed. “But you could see this result coming a Texas mile away,” writes Joshua Benton at Nieman Lab. “The premium site was not some beautiful, immersive experience — it was aggressively ugly and a pain to navigate.”

— “It used to be that there was an ever-more alarming growth in the hours people spent in front of the TV,” Michael Wolff writes at USA Today. “Now the greater concern is the limits of human attention.”


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Technology can’t vanquish trolls completely, says leader of comments project

The just-announced partnership between The New York Times, Washington Post and Mozilla holds a lot of promise for the future of comments and communities at news sites, but don’t expect a new system to make trolls disappear completely.

“Try as we might, I don’t think we’re going to create magic,” Greg Barber, the Post’s director of digital news projects, told Poynter by phone. “What we’re going to do is try to take technology and apply it to the work we’re all doing as humans.”

Or, as Knight-Mozilla Open News initiative’s Dan Sinker put it: “We are not declaring war on assholery. It’s not a war we’ll be able to win, certainly not at a technical level.”

But what the team does aim to do with technology is augment the kind of human moderation currently required to make the Times’s comment section the gold standard in the industry. That means semantic analysis, machine learning and other automated tools, Barber said. Human moderation has its limits: the Times can only allow comments on a select number of stories, and despite the high quality, the conversations aren’t the most free-flowing and engaging on the Web.

It seems appropriate here to cite a comment from the Post story announcing the partnership this morning, comparing the Times and Post approaches to comments:

“That’s great news. The current NYT commenting system is death for dialogue. It only encourages one-off comments. 
 
“Here, I learn as much or more in the commenting section as the articles, speaking directly to people with wildly different viewpoints from my own. 
 
“The only problem here is that too many people clog up the comments with partisan bickering. They aren’t interested in dialogue, just taunts.”

Despite those different approaches, Barber said the two major newspapers found common ground when they started meeting late last year.

“Our challenges with comments are similar to what I’m sure other publications have, which is that we have a massive volume,” Barber said. At this point, moderation strategies “focus on helping us to remove the bad stuff. What we want to do with this project is to be able to highlight the good stuff and build something that’s flexible and easy for publishers.”

And the platform, funded with a $3.89 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is intended to go beyond just comments. Barber and Sinker both cited Gawker’s Kinja platform, which allows readers to submit their own blog posts (Mathew Ingram wrote that the NYT-WaPo-Mozilla plan “sounds a little like an open-source version of Kinja.”) And you just can’t not read Gawker’s comments.

Already completed audience research, also funded by a Knight grant, revealed reader appetite to engage on news sites. But barriers — whether it’s bad UX at a technical level or a bad user experience when it comes to interacting with others — make them say, “ugh, I’m not subjecting myself to this,” said Sinker, who is leading the project.

“What we found is that different people want to be able to do different things,” Sinker said, and the community platform he’s leading will be flexible and open-source, allowing newsrooms to implement whatever types of community interaction and user-generated content that suits them best.

“Right now, the most common space for users to contribute is in comments,” Barber said. “But we know that users can give us much more than that.”


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

National Journal eliminates comments from non-members

National Journal

As of Friday, National Journal Editor-in-Chief writes, “we’ll join the growing number of sites that are choosing to forgo public comments on most stories.”

Comments are currently disappointing, he writes: “For every smart argument, there’s a round of ad hominem attacks—not just fierce partisan feuding, but the worst kind of abusive, racist, and sexist name-calling imaginable.”

Comments sections will stay “open and visible to National Journal’s members” and “Our reporters and editors will remain extremely active and accessible on Twitter, where the discourse is abbreviated but usually civil,” he writes. You can also email your thoughts, and occastionally NJ will open up comments sections on stories “where the unique perspectives and ideas and suggestions of individual readers can add immeasurably to our journalism.”

Last year The Huffington Post changed its commenting policy, requiring a Facebook login to post. Splitsider and Popular Science eliminated comments altogether. Ugly comments “became too much to really fight back” against, Dan Nosowitz, then a PopSci writer, said in an interview at the time.

“Some sites have responded by devoting substantial time and effort to monitoring and editing comments,” Grieve writes, “but we’d rather put our resources into the journalism that brings readers to National Journal in the first place.”

Related: Anonymous comments can be ‘a frothing, bubbling cauldron of insanity’ Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Guardian has deleted almost 500 comments from pro-Russia trolls

The Guardian

On Sunday, The Guardian’s Readers’ Editor Chris Elliott wrote about a growing problem in the comments section of stories about Ukraine — pro-Russian trolling, which one moderator told him appears to be “an orchestrated campaign.”

Trolling covers a multitude of sins but a particularly nasty strain has emerged in the midst of the armed conflict in Ukraine, which infests comment threads on the Guardian and elsewhere, despite the best efforts of moderators. Readers and reporters alike are concerned that these are from those paid to troll, and to denigrate in abusive terms anyone criticising Russia or President Vladimir Putin.

One complaint came to the readers’ editor’s office on 6 March. “In the past weeks [I] have become incredibly frustrated and disillusioned by your inability to effectively police the waves of Nashibot trolls who’ve been relentlessly posting pro-Putin propaganda in the comments on Ukraine v Russia coverage.

Elliott included links with three recent stories on Ukraine from The Guardian with the listed number of comments and those deleted “for reasons of abuse,” including this one, from which they spiked 259 comments. Out of 4,817 total comments on the stories, Guardian moderators deleted 494.

In the comments for the story about comment trolling, one person wrote “as long as paid EU trolls are allowed to post, it should be OK.” Read more

Tools:
14 Comments

Judge acknowledges racist, sexist Web comments, withdraws from race

Arkansas Times | Blue Hog Report

Judge Mike Maggio withdrew from a race for the Arkansas Court of Appeals after acknowledging he’d posted sexist, racist and homophobic comments on a website, Max Brantley reported Wednesday.

Maggio posted under the name “geauxjudge” on a message board called TigerDroppings.com, sharing musings on topics like “rodeo sex,” someone who was “black by injection” and “Why do two men get their weiners cut off to them date each other.”

Matt Campbell compiled a dossier of Maggio’s postings, triangulating personal information he mentioned in his comments with facts about Maggio. In his statement acknowledging the postings, Maggio decried “the politics of personal destruction.” Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Is the Internet a workplace? Lawyers debate whether online comments merit ethics probe

Feminist Law Professors | Above the Law | myShingle.com | Pacific Standard

Nancy Leong, a visiting law professor at UCLA, wrote in late December she had filed an ethics complaint with the bars that licensed a public defender who “commented about me approximately 70 times on at least five different websites, frequently remarking on my physical appearance.”

The commenter used the alias “Dybbuk.”

I don’t see how it’s workable to sanction lawyers who say disgusting things online,” Elie Mystal writes. “Lawyers say racist, sexist things all time. Are only the ones who say it online in ethical violation?” Read more

Tools:
2 Comments
}PgžxQ

Poynter experiments with ReadrBoard reader comments

Poynter is experimenting with a new commenting and annotation tool, ReadrBoard, which allows users to chart their reactions by paragraph and leave comments inside a story.

You can tell which Poynter stories we’re testing with ReadrBoard by finding the Reactions button; under the headline of some stories, there is a button with an icon that looks like bubbles with the word “Reactions” and a caret (the arrow pointing downwards):

When you hover your mouse over the button, ReadrBoard will show you how other readers have responded to the article. Click on the reactions to read comments other readers have left.

To leave your own responses, click on “What do you think?” and a series of rectangles will appear. You can click on the rectangles which best encapsulates your reaction to the story: Hilarious. Love it. Uh, no. Amazing. These are the options are now available in the story on email encryption by Jeremy Barr.

If the categories don’t fit your response, create a new one by clicking “Add your own” and type in your response.

To comment on a particular paragraph, hover your mouse at the end of the paragraph to see the ReadrBoard icon appear with other reactions. Click on “What do you think?” to leave a comment.

If others have comments, you can find them in the grayed out icon with a number denoting the number of comments in that paragraph:

We are trying this new system to determine whether we can increase meaningful discussions with our readers and gauge your reactions to our stories.

Publications such as ProPublica, Fast Company, Duke Chronicle and Racialicious, have already partnered with ReadrBoard to try the tool, according to Porter Bayne, co-founder of ReadrBoard.

Leave a comment through ReadrBoard or discuss below to tell us if you like this commenting and annotation tool. Read more

Tools:
3 Comments
FILE This July 16, 2013 FILE photo, shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday. The social-networking giant is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers. Microsoft and Google have done the same. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Want to comment on HuffPost? Just give Facebook your phone number first

Huffington Post

Grab your pitchforks and text art tanks: Huffington Post is doubling down on its anonymity crackdown.

The site’s new commenting system, explained by Tim McDonald, HuffPost’s director of community, requires users to have a Facebook account:

Here’s how to get started under this new system. When you log in to your account and go to make a comment, you will be prompted to link your commenting account to your verified Facebook account. Then, choose how you’d like your name to be displayed. You can either display your first and last names, or your first name and last initial. This is the only information that will be viewable to the community at large, and you will have control over your private information via Facebook’s privacy settings.

How do you get your Facebook account verified? You have to enter a confirmation code sent to you by Facebook via text message. So to comment on Huffington Post, you need to give Facebook your phone number, and you need to give HuffPost access to your Facebook account, which, Facebook says, must list your real name. Then, you can choose to post HuffPost comments under your full name or just your first name and last initial. Read more

Tools:
1,096 Comments