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German audience engagement startup Opinary is expanding to the US

German startup Opinary is expanding to the United States and looking for partner publishers to try out its tools for free. Opinary creates embeddable tools that let readers share their opinions, and it currently works with organizations like BILD, Spiegel and The Huffington Post’s German and U.K. editions. If you’re interested in working with Opinary […]

A new tool from Alphabet helps publishers moderate comments with artificial intelligence

Jigsaw, a technology incubator within Google’s parent company Alphabet, has released a new tool called Perspective, which uses artificial intelligence to help publishers weed out abusive comments. Perspective uses a rating system based on how “toxic” a comment is, letting the publisher choose a threshold for which comments are displayed publicly. In the next year, […]

Some news organizations are finding that comments can lead to increased revenue and reader loyalty, WAN-IFRA’s 2016 report on online commenting finds

Most of the news organizations surveyed in WAN-IFRA’s 2016 Global Report on Online Commenting said that comments are important (53%), but “closing the comment section is increasingly a strong consideration” because of the poor quality of comments. However, the report also found that some news organizations are finding success with comments. At The New York […]

Posting rules at the top of the comment section leads to more comments and more civil comments

According to a study of Reddit section r/science by CivilServant, posting the rules for the comment section can lead to more comments and prevent problematic comments. CivilServant’s research found that adding a sticky comment with the rules makes it 7.3 percentage points more likely that a newcomer’s comment will not have to be removed. And, […]

Can you moderate 5 NYT comments?

The New York Times is helping its readers get a taste of the work and thought process that goes into moderating comments with a comment moderation test. With some rules as background, readers are given five comments, which they can then approve or reject. Once the reader makes their choice, they’re then given an explanation […]

Journalists do read and respond to comments, new research from the Engaging News Project finds

New research from the Engaging News Project finds that journalists do actually read and respond to comments. Based on interviews with 34 journalists, all journalists interviewed said they read comments at least occasionally and two-thirds of those interviewed said they responded to commenters at least occasionally. And while some journalists were more enthusiastic about reading […]

Why more readers should frequent the comment section

While some are giving up on the comments section, Natalie Jomini Stroud says there’s still compelling evidence that the comment section can be good for both readers and news organizations. Comments provide an important way for journalists to interact with their readers. And with a focus on making the comment section a more civil place, […]

A new resolution in NYC would accept online comments as official feedback on proposed legislation

New York City council members James Vacca and Ben Kallos are proposing a new resolution that would make it easier for people to comment on proposed legislation: The resolution would require the city’s government to accept online comments as official feedback on legislation. Residents can currently only have their opinions officially recognized by showing up […]

Ideas from The Guardian’s comments hack day: A tool to let authors set the tone of the comments and a tool for curating comments

At The Guardian’s two-day hack event last week, developers presented ideas and tools for improving The Guardian’s comment section. Some of the ideas that surfaced: A tool called “Setting the Tone” allows post authors to post comments alongside the articles to set the tone of the discussion. An idea from Guardian readers suggested curating comments […]

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