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 … Read More

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

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

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. Read More

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

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