Articles about "User commenting"


Can the NYT, WaPo and Mozilla create a system to quiet the trolls in your comments?

The Washington Post

A partnership between the New York Times, the Washington Post and Mozilla aims to create a commenting system to address the nasty status quo in Web comments, where there’s an “incentive to be the loudest voice.”

“The two-year development project will be funded by a $3.89 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,” Paul Farhi writes in the Post.

The Web desperately needs a solution to the vexing problem of commenting. Chicago Sun-Times managing editor Craig Newman called his site’s comment section a “morass of negativity, racism, and hate speech” when that paper (where I used to work) eliminated it in April.

Some would-be solutions, like YouTube requiring a Google+ login to comment and the Huffington Post requiring a Facebook login, have infuriated commenters who are fiercely protective of their anonymity. Anonymous commenters are often less civil but more engaged.

The NYT-WaPo-Mozilla partnership aims to quiet — if not eliminate — trolls. Read more

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BuzzFeed and Facebook Host Bowties & Burgers During 2014 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

Commenters hate HuffPost’s new Facebook-only commenting system

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post’s U.S. site and mobile apps will shift to using only Facebook comments starting Monday at noon, HuffPost CTO Otto Toth announced.

“This is far from an an end to conversation; it’s the start of conversation where you want to have it — and where you’ve been having it already,” he wrote.

Readers are having a Facebook conversation under Toth’s post, but many of them claim it’s the last one they’ll have before abandoning the site. The most-liked comment: “Now deleting my account, which I’ve used since 2011. If I wanted this integrated with Facebook, that’s how I would have logged in. Thanks for the memories.” Read more

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Can Livefyre’s annotations tool fix commenting?

Livefyre wants to bring its social commenting system not only to every story on the Web, but also to every paragraph, block quote and image. With its new Sidenotes feature launching today at Salon and Fox Business, annotations — essentially paragraph-by-paragraph commenting — could be poised to go mainstream.

It’s not a new concept: Many news outlets, including Poynter, have tested a service called ReadrBoard, and Quartz and Medium have notably developed their own in-the-margins commenting systems. News Genius got some attention lately for hosting an annotation-based rebuttal to Newsweek’s controversial cover story on bitcoin’s founder.

But Livefyre has more than 650 clients, with its social tools living on almost 100,000 sites. With that kind of scale, it hopes Sidenotes can be adopted quickly across the Web. Read more

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Chicago Sun-Times homepage

Sun-Times kills comments until it can fix ‘morass of negativity, racism, and hate speech’

Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times has temporarily eliminated story commenting on its website until it can develop a system that will “foster a productive discussion rather than an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing,” managing editor Craig Newman announced:

The world of Internet commenting offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and the exchange of ideas. But as anyone who has ever ventured into a comment thread can attest, these forums too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content.

In fact, the general tone and demeanor is one of the chief criticisms we hear in regard to the usability and quality of our websites and articles. Not only have we heard your criticisms, but we often find ourselves as frustrated as our readers are with the tone and quality of commentary on our pages.

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Opinion network State launches with goal of democratizing online conversations

Today marks the public launch of State, the “global opinion network” from Jawbone founder Alexander Asseily.

Sounds like just what the Internet needs, right? Another place for people you don’t know to opine about anything and everything.

But it’s what State does with those opinions that Asseily hopes will set the platform apart.

Asseily explained to Poynter via phone that the goal of his new service — on browsers at State.com and on iOS starting today — is to connect users to people and content in meaningful, deep ways. “You can think about State as elevating the structure of the network from people to opinions and points of view,” he said.

Users “state” about a topic by choose from among 25 million topics already in the system (they can also add their own). Then, they pick up to three reaction words from State’s database of 10,000 expressions (or add their own). Read more

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HuffPost policy banishes trolls — and drives away some frequent commenters

When The Huffington Post announced that all commenters — not just new registrants — would be required starting Dec. 10 to link their profiles to Facebook accounts verified with a phone number and have their real names displayed when commenting, the reaction was fierce. Commenters, many of whom had left thousands of comments and amassed thousands of “fans” over five or more years on the site, felt betrayed.

When I asked about the reasoning behind the policy via email last month, HuffPost Director of Community Tim McDonald referred me to comments from Arianna Huffington reported by GigaOm earlier in the year: “Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just came from London where there are rape and death threats.” And: “I feel that freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they say and [are] not hiding behind anonymity. …We need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet.” Read more

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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. Read more

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Commenters on HuffPost mobile apps will soon need Facebook verification too

Amid the uproar over the Huffington Post’s announcement that commenting now requires Facebook verification — which itself requires supplying Facebook with a phone number — some users found a loophole: They could still use their old usernames (and not their real names) when commenting via HuffPost mobile apps. Read more

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Former publisher’s bill would have compelled newspapers to ID commenters

The Spokesman-Review
A panel in Idaho’s legislature rejected a bill that would have forced newspapers to disclose the identities of commenters in the event of a lawsuit, Betsy Z. Russell reports in The Spokesman-Review. Last summer, Idaho Judge John Patrick Luster ordered The Spokesman-Review to reveal the name of a commenter after a Kootenai County politician sued the paper, saying she’d been libeled in a comments section in a blog post.

That commenter revealed herself before it came to that. But there’s an interesting footnote to the story of the rejected bill: It was submitted by Rep. Stephen Hartgen, the former publisher of The Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News. When a fellow representative asked Hartgen why the legislature needed to get involved in “rules within the judicial system,” Hartgen replied that Luster’s ruling was “narrow.” “This is an area of the law which has evolved to the point where anonymous blog comments are part of our daily life,” Russell reports he said. Read more

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Early comments on stories affect what later readers believe, and what they say

A recent scientific experiment demonstrated the importance of intervening in comment sections to cultivate constructive discussion, particularly just after publication.

Scientific American Blog Editor Bora Zivkovic writes about the results, which showed that the tone of pre-existing comments on a story affected subsequent readers.

An article about nanotechnology, a topic most people know very little about and usually have no a priori biases for or against, was presented to the test subjects. Half the people saw the article with (invented) polite, civil and constructive comments. The other half was given the same article but with uncivil comments – essentially a flame-war in the fake commenting thread. The result is that readers of the second version quickly developed affinity for one side of the argument and strongly took that side, which affected the way they understood and trusted the original article (text of which was unaltered). The nasty comment thread polarized the opinion of readers, leading them to misunderstand the original article.

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