A New Comment System for News Websites

Image from Crazy Canadian Comments

The internet offers a wide range of opinions and intentions. And while there is no problem with opinions, the intention does mean everything—especially when people want to provoke other people for the sake of it.

That is a bit skewed from the main goal of having comments because it only reflects the social context in which the story was created, meaning “this is how you are.” However, reader engagement must definitely mean more than simply posting inflammatory comments. After all, that is the role of a troll, not a reader engaging with others.

And no news website is free of them. The Washington Post and The New York Times have now teamed up with Mozilla to create a healthy platform for comments, ‘perhaps through word recognition software.’ Here’s what they are going for:

The most ambitious aim of the project is to create a feature that would efficiently highlight the most relevant and pertinent reader comments on an article, perhaps through word-recognition software. Another feature would categorize and rank commenters according to their previous postings.

Such a function wouldn’t eliminate “trolls” — readers who post intentionally inflammatory or abusive comments — but it might diminish the “incentive to be the loudest voice” and would foster communities of commenters, said Greg Barber, The Post’s director of digital news projects who is part of a steering group. READ MORE HERE.

One of the things I enjoy the most as a reader of news is the broader perspective that comments give you in this unprecedented age of news and access to the internet. To be able to consider a wide variety of ways of thinking keeps you grounded. We’ll see what they come up with.

The new platform will also be shared for other sites created with Wordpress, for example. So, if it works, we’ll be happy to try it out!

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