Hi everyone, just another update from myself on the direction of the comment section.
Over the last few years the website has become more popular than we could have imagined and as such we’ve been lucky enough to attract a large number of informed and civil commentators but on the other hand, there are more trolls here than we were able to deal with.
What are we doing about this? I’ll outline my plans below.
1. Leave our log-in system as is
We almost decided to have people log-in using their using social media accounts but I think the way we have now is best as it allows people to keep their details private while still letting us moderate the comments.
We’re going to keep the requirement for users to enter their username and e-mail address to be able to post.
Nothing is really changing in this regard, in fact it’ll be easier to comment as the system no longer requires you enter a website name before posting.
2. Make use of human comment moderators
Currently the website auto-approves comments from users that have previously had one comment accepted, that’s fine for a small community but it isn’t very practical for a website with thousands of users.
Previously, moderation of the content of comments didn’t really happen in any meaningful way. Comments from first time posters or comments containing a high number of links were automatically placed into a queue for approval. On some days this ‘pending approval’ queue could reach upwards of 500 comments, it became too time consuming to read them all.
Additionally, the website auto-approves comments from users that have previously had one comment accepted which led to an issue where someone could post a rational comment and get that approved only to switch to posting abuse.
That couldn’t continue, so we brought in a human comment moderator.
Comments from first time posters or comments containing a high number of links will still be automatically placed into a queue for approval but a dedicated member of the team will now sift through these to make sure that the comments meet our our comment moderation policy. In addition to this, the moderator will also read through comments from auto-approved users to make sure their comments continue to adhere to our comment policy.
Essentially, we aim to keep watch on every comment from every user posted on the website from here on out.
This team member will also deal with any comments that have been flagged or reported by the community, which brings me on to the next point.
3. Better reporting procedure
Now, about that reporting procedure. We have fully implemented a comment flagging system, this one is self explanatory. Just flag comments you believe violate our comments policy and our comment moderator will review it.
Please note though, we also know who is flagging comments so any abuse of this feature will be easy to see.
4. Enhanced tools for users
Jim is an active commentor, you can see a range of options when hovering over his comment such as the ability to share the comment, link to the comment or even flag the comment to the moderator. If you’re Jim, you can even edit your comment.
When clicking on the ‘i’, you’ll see more about Jim including how many comments he has made and when he was last online.
Additionally, you can also see his previous comments.
We have also introduced ‘User Mentioning’. This option allows mentioning users in comments using @nickname method. Mentioned users will get notification via email.
We’ll update you all if and when more features are added.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below!