As many of you know, I turned off comments about a week ago due to the increasing number of hostile and nonconstructive comments. Since then I’ve been researching other comment options that would encourage community and discussion while – to put it simply – keeping the jerks out.
I think I’ve found a solution that will work, but I’ll need your help for it to be successful. The new system is much like the old one, except for two main differences.
First, you have to log in to leave a comment. You can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google, Discus or OpenID account. From what I gather, this reduces the overall number of comments by about 50% but more importantly reduces the spam/hate comments to close to 0%. I guess people who leave comments that make them look like a jackass prefer to remain anonymous. Go figure.
Second, any comment that is flagged will be put into the moderation queue. This is where I’m depending on your help. The reality is, if someone is really intent on acting like a jerk, there’s no comment system that can stop them. Anyone can create a fake Gmail address and use it for this type of thing. That’s why we needed a second level of security: user moderation. Any logged-in user can flag a comment for moderation. This will place the comment in the moderation queue and notify me so I can review it and delete if necessary.
So what comments should be flagged?
- Personal attacks of any kind
- Inappropriate subject matter not relevant to the post
- Attempts to “hijack” the thread with a personal agenda
- “Troll” comments intended only to start an argument – not a civil discussion
My hope is that these two measures will strike the balance I think we’re all looking for. Thanks for your help in keeping the discussion available to those who genuinely want to participate.