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Another attempt at taming the comment cesspool
June 24, 2012 8:33 AM   Subscribe

In yet another attempt to bring order and usefulness to the comments section of a high traffic news site, Gawker has implemented a new comment system. They are borrowing the basic concept from Slashdot that most comments will never be seen, and thus the focus is to find the interesting conversations that do occur under the article, and promote them with no regard for chronological order . The system shows some promise, although it clearly has a ways to go as a recent article failed to highlight replies in the comments from the subject of the article. Also of note, the photo of Nick Denton used in the article is by MeFi's own mathowie.
posted by COD (56 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also, including a link to Mefi user 1 in your post generates a warning that your post includes a duplicate link that has been used in 494 other posts. Well, now I guess it is 495.
posted by COD at 8:34 AM on June 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Anonymous Cowards, be damned!
posted by scruss at 8:47 AM on June 24, 2012


I would just love it if Metafilter or any other site I peruse had a comments "sort by..." field with a dropdown "Date, # times Favorited, username, length etc" that way I can decide which comments to read, all mixed up in a bucket with the eggs on top, or however else I want it.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 8:52 AM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh gawker made me so sad. Dropping live blogging Top Chef, deleting my account with the changeover and losing many frequent and frequently hilarious commenters in the first place. I feel like they eliminated the best part of the whole site and now it's just a more obvious drop in spot for bored and not so hilarious teens and 20- somethings.

Yes, I am old and hate change. Noted.
posted by bquarters at 8:56 AM on June 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


The commenting system on Gawker sites is fucked up as it is. You used to have to "audition" for posting privileges now I don't know what the deal is. The only Gawker site I ever visit is Gizmodo and the comments are almost always from the same "starred" commenters with a few sub comments. Yet another reason to avoid Gawker Media (besides Engadget usually has the same news first anyway).
posted by MikeMc at 8:57 AM on June 24, 2012


It's worth noting that pretty much every "exciting new way to fix the comments problem" I see is an attempt to solve with structures and algorithms what Metafilter solves with humans. I remain skeptical that the problem is solvable in that way, although improvement does seem possible.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:58 AM on June 24, 2012 [24 favorites]


I am completely flummoxed as to how to view comments. The top story today is about Jerry Sandusky. The comment that appears to me is by pollyannacowgirl2.0. To the right of that is a comment by Cherith Cutestory (faded out) and the note "6 more replies" - so is Cherith's a reply to polyanna? I click on Cherith's comment and to the right of that is TheChrisDangerShow's comment (faded out) and the note "5 more replies" - is Chris responding to polyanna or Cherith? Where'd the rest of the replies to polyanna go? Is the "5 more replies" to Chris or Cherith?
posted by desjardins at 8:58 AM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Gawker's always hated the idea that the commenters were funnier, more informed or better writers than the paid staff.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:11 AM on June 24, 2012 [35 favorites]


And that's why I've left the Gawker Network almost totally (there's still a couple things on Deadspin and Lifehacker I like) and move to The Verge. I'm even working on dropping Aol Tech (Engadget and Joystiq) once Verge's Polygon site is up and running full.
posted by deezil at 9:12 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


FYI, giving Gawker attention will only encourage them.

Why are you hurting America?
posted by Talez at 9:13 AM on June 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Gawker's always hated the idea that the commenters were funnier, more informed or better writers than the paid staff.

Hated it so much that they added LolCait to the writing staff?
posted by acidic at 9:16 AM on June 24, 2012


FYI, giving Gawker attention will only encourage them.

Why are you hurting America?


You'll notice I didn't actually link to Gawker ;)

I wonder how much better the comments would be at Gawker, or CNN, or anywhere, if it cost $5 one time for the privilege?
posted by COD at 9:27 AM on June 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


You'll notice I didn't actually link to Gawker ;)

That's why I said "giving Gawker attention" rather than "linking to Gawker"?
posted by Talez at 9:29 AM on June 24, 2012


The article's a bit thin on details. Does he even explain how it's supposed to work, or just say that it's new, different, and better?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:29 AM on June 24, 2012


I'm baffled by how Gawker's new commenting system is supposed to work, but also I feel ...betrayed, and hardly spend any time on the site. I was one of those gold-starred commenters, but now I can't even log on. Nick Denton said something about how childish the 'auditioning' and gold star system was, and maybe it was, but it was still a place where you could rely on the regulars to make trenchant, funny observations. Now I guess it's all serious grown-ups.
posted by Flashman at 9:30 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


BTW, do you think using that particular photo of Denton is a kind of inside joke? There must be thousands of pics of him out there on the Internet, but those who follow Internet communities will read an article about moderation systems, and at the end will think "oh yeah, there's the way MeFi does it", without Shirkey actually having to do the comparison.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:32 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The commenting system at Gawker is terrible and user-unfriendly now, and not just because of how many of the highlighted comments are from people complaining about the commenting system. The auditioning process for commenters was indeed pretty immature and ridiculous, but I swear Gawker gets more tabloidish and transparently pageview-seeking every day. Until they start writing things that encourage comments of substance, they're not going to reliably get them. Gawker is excellent for breaking Internet Important new stories, some occasional gossip, and snark; they should let the commenters keep on snarking on.
posted by verbyournouns at 9:50 AM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hmm, so is Gawker just piloting it before it rolls out to their other sites? IO9 and Jezebel don't use this yet.

Is there a non-Gawker-media equivalent to IO9 ?

It might not be horrible once you get used to it, but on the surface I think it's reinventing the wheel and then not bothering to round off the corners.
posted by tyllwin at 9:51 AM on June 24, 2012


Gawker's sites have sucked for a long time for me. Between them timing out and just loading bits and pieces, it's not worth having to reload every page ten times to get anything useful. Bah.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:52 AM on June 24, 2012


I haven't started using twitter yet, but their solution looks most sensible overall.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:54 AM on June 24, 2012


Anonymous Cowards, be damned!

Oddly enough, as I bid gawker farewell I do it because I'm no longer able to participate anonymously. Cowardice or loss of freedom to express myself without fear of retribution.

(As someone who was actually stalked online, had my online browsing habits and facebook password forwarded to the HR department of where I worked and had my credit stolen by that person, I can say that yeah, while not very often it does in fact happen.)


I wonder how much better the comments would be at Gawker, or CNN, or anywhere, if it cost $5 one time for the privilege?

Well, it'd definitely slant them, and not necessarily for the good. Unless you think that irreverent 20 year olds who refuse to pay for anything somehow have a different value to the world than the 30+ crowd in here.
posted by Blue_Villain at 9:56 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The commenting system at Gawker is terrible and user-unfriendly now

I had an account at some point but I never used it much because the commenting system has never been user friendly. What's the point of commenting if it may not even show up? I didn't even bothering changing my password when they got compromised, it just wasn't worth the effort. Gawker Media: Just Not Worth The Effort
posted by MikeMc at 9:56 AM on June 24, 2012


I wonder how much better the comments would be at Gawker, or CNN, or anywhere, if it cost $5 one time for the privilege?
posted by COD


Probably about like Metafilter without moderation. Seriously, this place has the only real solution, and it's expensive.

I call it "the tragedy of the comments."
posted by spitbull at 10:09 AM on June 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


Apologies to Flashman, but I've always thought that the gold star system was utterly fucked. It's never been clear on what basis they've been awarded--purely on the bloggers' whim or frequency of posting or both--but I've never found them to be particularly insightful or funny. The only commenting system that it looks better than is HuffPo's, with its array of silly badges and profuse friending of the most dedicated trolls.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:10 AM on June 24, 2012


Is there a non-Gawker-media equivalent to IO9 ?

Maybe it's not quite the same, but I like tor.com's approach to SF blogging.

I haven't followed any links to i09 since the terrible redesign of all Gawker Media sites. News that they have now f'd up their comments like they f'd up their CSS comes as no surprise.
posted by The River Ivel at 10:28 AM on June 24, 2012


Isn't this what YouTube does?

Doesn't it not work at all?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:44 AM on June 24, 2012


Caity Weaver is a great contributor to that site.

the comment system should be dumped into the sewer system under Old New York. they went through this whole thing where they redesigned the comment section into logical comments you could reply to. and it lasted what.. a month? I like reading the comments on gawker; the thing is that Gawker articles are designed to be "hey let's mock this stupid thing that happened" so when the author of the post is the only one assured to have their words read, then it stops being a community of people enjoying a laugh at something and it becomes tired and boring. especially if the post author is new or lame or whatever. so yes to Caity, and yes to Hamilton.. but as far as I can tell A.J. is a completely terrible bro-dude. and he's the one in charge.. Gawker is going to continue pushing away the people that make the site enjoyable (both talent and readers) and then they'll just be paid ads and junk content made up of press releases like every other site that used to be good.
posted by ninjew at 10:54 AM on June 24, 2012


I used to read Jalopnik, Lifehacker and Gizmodo a lot, then they changed the site layout, and then the comments got really awful and the articles were rehashes of stuff from other sites. So I gave up on Gawker et. al. and switched to Metafilter, The Truth About Cars and Engadget. The only places I read the comments now are here and TTAC because there's an actual person moderating stuff and, at TTAC, actually banning regulars.

TTAC had a recent article/send-up of content mill sites and the difficulty of creating good, original content that seems appropriate.
posted by highway40 at 11:25 AM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Upvoting and downvoting only works if your site hasn't been actively cultivating a community of assholes, which is what Gawker has become. I stopped participating when their password database got cracked a few years back.

It doesn't seem like I have missed much; Gizmodo doesn't post about gadgets, Kotaku doesn't post about video games, and Lifehacker posts a lot about nothing (following it becomes an anti-life-hack).
posted by meowzilla at 11:52 AM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


At the end of the day, Gawker is still basically an electronic gossip tabloid with collegiate vocabulary? What exactly did they expect, erudition?
posted by jonmc at 11:54 AM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


the terrible redesign of all Gawker Media sites

Before the redesign was the content loaded at the same time as the page load, or was it like it is now where the page loads and then a scrawl of javascript loads in the content? All of the Gawker sites use this loading method and I've never understood it.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:55 AM on June 24, 2012


Commenting systems are weird beasts, and I feel like part of what makes conversations about them complicated is that it's easy to treat them as one kind of thing with one kind of goal when in practice they seem to do at least a couple very different things. A very hasty, very short version of the long half-formed essay that's been bumping around in my head for the last few years could break it down like this:

1. Some comment systems primarily function to facilitate conversation for its own sake.

2. Some comment systems primarily function to mine for gold.

And these are very different functions which imply different structural approaches and toolsets and which produce different incentives and benefits to participants.

In the first case, you're trying to create a discursive space for the sake of the people who feel like having a discussion; the comment system exists as a support structure for chatting, conversation, argument, debate, where its main goal is to create a basic toolset and environment for the users and then to get out of their way. At that point, what you get out of the system is whatever the folks who show up feel like putting into it: relatively raw, unmediated conversation, a transcript of people having a discussion.

Most of the value here is for the participants as a whole, as a group having a shared experience. They enjoy conversing with each other, the conversation is its own end rather than a means to some other end, and no one really expects to get anything more out of the process than the social and intellectual stimulation that comes from discussing for discussion's sake in a community space. And so the focus is mostly on making that discussion in general work well, making it flow well for participants, making the people talking to each other feel like they're having, and being allowed to have, a conversation for the sake of having a conversation.

In the second case, you're trying to create a system for producing high-quality nuggets; you're not trying to feature conversation as a whole so much as to find and highlight the best isolated bits of a conversation. This is useful if you want to point passing readers at something bite-sized; "here, read these ten thousand words of conversation" is a daunting pitch, whereas "read this great fifty-word soundbite" is much more manageable.

And so in this case what gets valued is not the conversation as a whole for its own sake but the best little snippets; you create a de facto if not explicit structure of inter-commenter competition where there's a more visible reward for being the pithiest or the snarkiest or the cleverest, where only some small handful of the total volume of comments get highlighted and treated as at-a-glance content. It's a churn-based approach where a high volume of comments combines with a filtering system to create a showcase for the winners and a secondary status for the rest of the conversation where readers will have to dig to find them.

Different approaches, nothing inherently better or worse about them. For scale or design reasons it may be easier to approach the problem of managing comments as a "let's focus on the gold nuggets" thing. If you've got comments that just aren't conversation for the most part (youtube's rolling window design destroys context inherently and popular videos get a lot of comments), or you've got a design-driven limitation of a few comments total by default (Gawker's approach for a while now at least), finding a way to feature the top n comments has some practical motivation. The filtering/highlighting system is serving a design or social constraint.

But part of the challenge with this stuff is that you don't get the same behavior out of a for-conversation's-sake system and a for-the-gold system, and once you let those design constraints determine the feel of the conversation experience for the conversants, you create profoundly different situations. Different incentives, different presentation and visibility for the comments, different outcomes.

The culture of your commenting space is defined indirectly but very substantially by the way you reward commenters, the way you distribute visibility and attention to their comments, the message you send about whether this is their space to hang out or your space to show off the things you like.

And I think it's easy for folks designing a comment system or a discussion space to want one thing and design for the other. When you create a mining-for-gold sort of system which rewards pithiness and self-contained comments over involved, developing exchanges and which creates, though a filtering/highlighting/masking system and limited "featured comment" real estate, an inherent sense of competition between commentors, you disrupt conversation for its own sake. These things create barriers to a natural, neutral flow of discussion between participants. It impedes a sense of community, of people just spending time together because they enjoy the process of discussing stuff with each other, in favor of a sort of brass-ring chase.

That's important because I almost never hear someone defend a comment filtering/highlighting system on the basis that e.g. "we really want to create a sense of competition and make it clear that most comments won't make the cut", when, in practice, that's precisely what they're doing. And I don't think it's a matter of the folks managing this stuff being deceptive, or not wanting to foster a community rather than a competition, but rather them not seeing that there's a having-your-cake-and-eating-it dilemma here where you have to choose between putting your structural decisions and community management resources into fostering smooth conversation for it's own sake or into taking a "we'll show the best stuff only so the bad stuff doesn't matter so much" approach. Almost nobody's intention is to reject community-centric discussion; that's just the practical result of a lot of these design and management decisions.

It's not something that switching from one filtering/highlighting rubric to another can change. And I feel like a lot of the conversations I've seen about this don't acknowledge that; there's this idea that if you come up with just the right variation on filtering and promoting and hiding subsets of a conversation, suddenly you'll have a discursive community instead of people jockeying for attention. It doesn't work that way; when you induce a significant performative aspect to commenters' behavior, you get performance instead of discussion.

To put it another way, it's a coffee house vs. open-mic standup comedy. Both have their merits, but if you want a coffee house, you don't put the conversation on stage. You don't create a system where people know they're in the spotlight and feel compelled to make a splash. That's a great way to get one-liners, but it's also a great way to produce a lot of lousy acts, a lot of fart noises and Lenny Bruce wannabeism. It doesn't create continuity of discussion.

And too many sites seem to think or say they're building a coffee house but end up sticking a mic in front of a brick wall. If your goal is to make all of the conversation as good as it can be on average instead of encouraging an uneven, disjointed discursive space that produces some good hits, you're shooting yourself in the foot.
posted by cortex at 12:45 PM on June 24, 2012 [39 favorites]


"Very short", he says, and dares them not to laugh.
posted by cortex at 12:45 PM on June 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


mods, please upvote this comment.
posted by brappi at 1:44 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


It seems like they completely revamp their comments system every six months. Or is this still the same revamp we talked about earlier?

Anyway. The real problem with Gawker is (I think) that they didn't grow their community "organically". Slashdot, Kuro5hin, DailyKos, Digg, Reddit, and so on, as well as Metafilter developed their community organically. I never spent any time on Digg, but a lot of those sites had their heydays when there were a lot of really great comments by smart people -- and then went downhill. Reddit is an interesting case because it does a good job of keeping posts that the "Reddit Hivemind" likes on top. The problem, of course, is that that isn't really synonymous with quality, and the more people join the dumber it gets (you can definitely see the effect in different subreddits. Someone actually did a study to check reading grade level of the various subs to see how literate the posters were, there were big difference) . Eventually it will probably reach peak dumb and stagnate.

Gawker, on the other hand had a popular website where the commentators didn't really have much in common with eachother. Just throwing a huge crowd of people into the thunderdome isn't going to work to well: Just look at the typical "newspaper comments" that people used to post on every news site (which, sensibly newspapers are trying to phase out and moderate more. Also, going out of business.)

So, gawker has a unique challenge: how to get comments that work well without having grown up around a community. At first they tried an invite only thing, and various other techniques to try to filter people, but the problem is why put up with all that bullshit just to contribute to gawker's bottom line?

Anyway, maybe they will eventually figure it out, maybe not. I don't think it's really possible to predict these things. I could be totally wrong too and the problem could be something completely different. I kind of disagree with the fundamental idea that you can actually predict what large groups of people are going to do with that much precision. We know some things that totally don't work. But absent those things, how can you say that any one thing was responsible for something working? I kind of doubt it's possible (After all, look how badly the kings of big data - google failed at Buzz, then Google+ and so on. If anyone could analyze the web for patterns to figure out what might work, you would expect it to be them)
Gawker's always hated the idea that the commenters were funnier, more informed or better writers than the paid staff.
Well, why they expect people to provide quality content for them to monetize for free? Maybe gawker should pay their commenters. They give out extra ad inventory to people who post good comments, so they can advertize and promote their own sites. That people who might right quality comments have an incentive too do so.

Fundamentally, there's no reason to think people are going to want to do high quality work for gawker for free.
posted by delmoi at 1:49 PM on June 24, 2012


different subreddits. Someone actually did a study to check reading grade level of the various subs to see how literate the posters were

Moi anticipates reductionist bifurcation deliberately corruscates dymaxion perfidiousness accordingly diversifying blastomic dischordian synchronicity appeallingly for MeFi.
posted by Twang at 4:03 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was a Gawker gold starred commenter for a time. I thought that system was silly, but at least it limited the number of trolls.

I've noted that when I do visit Gawker (which is much less frequently than before the new system), the comments that get pushed to the top and front are usually obvious trolls followed by 300 replies to that troll. And comments commenting on the comment system.

Long story short, breaking my Gawker habit has been hard, but it is necessary. The gold starred folks were funny, insightful and made the comment section a joy. The new system is like reading comments on YouTube videos.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:34 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. Some comment systems primarily function to facilitate conversation for its own sake.

2. Some comment systems primarily function to mine for gold.


I've been thinking for awhile now that commenting can be scaled on individualistic vs communal aspects.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 5:11 PM on June 24, 2012


When I first go to a webpage with stuff, I like to display all stuff. Whether it's all cardigans or all sheer white cotton tab-top curtain panels, or all Ron Swanson memes or all comments - I like to see everything on one page. It's the first thing I do - change the setting to "view all" (or as many as allowable at one time), so I can scan stuff, compare stuff, and refer back to comments easily. I mean that's why we have faster internet, right? So we can see more?

Gawker's user-unfriendly one-comment or one-random thread (I can't figure out how it works) reminds me of early internet, when you were severely limited by how much you could see at a time, because it took too long otherwise. Why the hell would anyone voluntarily go back to that? No one ever said "BUT WHY CAN'T WE HAVE LESS INTERNET?"
posted by raztaj at 5:14 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


...by MeFi's own mathowie.

Never heard of him. Is he new?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:15 PM on June 24, 2012


Most of their site redesign awfulness can be avoided by reading the mobile site, though the 'blog.sitename.com' address still works to give you at least the chronological order of posts.

I used to read Deadspin in the early days of the site, and the one thing they've always had there is a fantastic group of commenters, who pretty much all do have something in common, namely sports. It seems that with each revamp of the system, they do more and more to kill the comments off. Back at the beginning, I used to be able to (and sometimes did) scroll through pages of comments, which were usually better than the article, and almost always funnier. They also had a community feeling there, with some pretty interesting conversations that went in so long, they started posting a Deadspin Up All Night story which was just a way for people to chat into the we hours. They still do that, but I don't really see why. Kind of sad, at least, for Deadspin.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:31 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I basically just despite Gawker and their linkbaity shit, and their naked attempts to secure eyeballs and constant redesigns. I mean, they're basically The Daily Mail for netizens. Why their troll-y, rehashed, lazy, content gets a pass all too often whilst the DM doesn't, I have no idea. Sure, there was a time, in the early 2000s, where Lifehacker introduced my to Linux, but you know, I used to read BoingBoing back then, too.
posted by smoke at 5:45 PM on June 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I basically just despite Gawker and their linkbaity shit, and their naked attempts to secure eyeballs and constant redesigns. I mean, they're basically The Daily Mail for netizens. Why their troll-y, rehashed, lazy, content gets a pass all too often whilst the DM doesn't, I have no idea. Sure, there was a time, in the early 2000s, where Lifehacker introduced my to Linux, but you know, I used to read BoingBoing back then, too.

Because Gawker aren't right wing racists who once backed Hitler and will print a story about evil gypsies who give you cancer at every opportunity?

Gawker are just crap, not actively malignant.
posted by jaduncan at 1:00 AM on June 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree with cortex about the dichotomy there

I think that the open-mic approach tends to breed assholishness probably because of the whole 'dominance' aspect of competition
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:27 AM on June 25, 2012


I'm intrigued by techdirt's approach of simply summarizing each week's best comments and posts.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:15 AM on June 25, 2012


Gawker has completely gone down hill in terms of quality. Most of the posts are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. The comments use to be some of the best parts of an article, but now as when they started the starring system is fucked. I have to read shit, and trying to follow a thread is increasingly difficult.

Fuck their commenting system. Bring back the old days of no stars and a simple thread.
Gizmodo and lifehacker are still decent sites, but for fucks sake on Gawker and Jezebel.
posted by handbanana at 8:50 AM on June 25, 2012


Everyone knows (or should know) that all the smart commentors from Gawker went over to The Awl a long time ago.
posted by old_growler at 11:26 AM on June 25, 2012


Just today it looks like the commenting system has been changed yet again: "powered by Kinja" -- eh?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:14 PM on June 25, 2012


I second the "why are we getting less Internet?" and "the starred posting system was better." I truly don't understand why it is that almost every damn webpage online makes their site WORSE, by a lot, every time they "upgrade." I've never been a big commenter on gawker (prefer Jezebel and io9), but if/when they pollute those sites with the shitty new no-comment system, I'll be departing as well.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:55 PM on June 25, 2012


Wow, look, it's *another* Nieman Lab article about Gawker's New! Astonishing! Worth Examining! approach to commenting, less than two months after the last Nieman Lab article about Gawker's New! Astonishing! Worth Examining! approach to commenting. I'll just repeat what I said last time, which is even more true after this latest Nieman iteration:

The one thing that seems clearest, in light of the ridiculous redesign they tried last year, is that they'll be tweaking it just enough so that when it fails they won't have to admit it's failed.

Shirky is being foolish here, treating the ongoing failure of Denton's latest vision as part of an process of "rolling out this system in pieces." What a joke. Shirky's piece is so full of solid critique - excellent comments routinely buried, ridiculously confusing UI choices that drive commenters away, human nature means you will always need smart moderation, etc - that it's shocking the headline wasn't "How Gawker's new comment system is failing and failing hard."

Anyway, I still think the basic problem remains simple: Gawker and newspaper sites refuse to invest any money or psychological capital in moderators. We talked about this before, and cortex raised some interesting questions about scaling moderation, but I still find it fascinating that none of these pieces about the "stagnation" in newspaper and gossip site comments ever seem to seriously look at the option of paid, trained mods enforcing guidelines for conversation.

Which, you know, is the only thing that fucking works.
posted by mediareport at 7:11 AM on June 26, 2012


They've rolled it out onto io9 this morning.
I don't have an account there, but it's pretty goddam awful.
I can see 83 comments have been posted on the intro article, but damned if I can browse more than a few.
posted by Mezentian at 7:41 AM on June 27, 2012


Oh my god. Just learned that you have to click on the little colored squares/avatars to navigate the comments. It kind of works now/I kind of like it.
posted by acidic at 1:58 PM on June 27, 2012




If the experience of my local newspaper website is indicative, requiring Facebook accounts for comments won't make that much of a different. It's easy to set up a fake FB account for commenting, and it seems like bigoted, racist homophobes don't see anything wrong with their viewpoints, and thus have no problem spouting their crap under a real identity.

The only benefit I see is that I've identified several local small business owners who will never see a dime of business from me.
posted by COD at 8:14 AM on June 29, 2012


The only thing I used to like about Gawker's comment system was that it let you fairly easily track who had responded to your comments. Now? As far as I can tell that doesn't happen. And it would appear that my OLD account is still floating around, because I can't re-use the username, yet I can't seem to properly log in to it. Blergh.
posted by antifuse at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2012


Gawker has completely gone down hill in terms of quality

While I still mourn the loss of my commenting privileges there, they do still publish the odd thing that is very good indeed.
Although, I don't visit that often anymore; I only discovered that article because I follow the author on Twitter
posted by Flashman at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2012


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