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When reporters get involved in the comment section, it leads to fewer uncivil comments

According to research by the Engaging News Project at the University of Texas at Austin, uncivil comments dropped by 15 percent when reporters were participating in the conversation. Some newsrooms such as are encouraging reporters to participate in the comment sections. Julia Haslanger offers nine tips for journalists to make the transition to the […]

European court rules websites can be held liable for users’ comments

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Estonian news site Delfi may be held responsible for anonymous and allegedly defamatory comments on its website. The court cited the “extreme” nature of the comments, which it equated to hate speech, and “insufficient measures taken by Delfi to weed out the comments in question.” […]

After Tablet started charging for the comment section, conversation moved to Facebook

When Tablet started charging users $180 per year for access to the comment section, the Jewish news and culture magazine wanted to heighten the quality of comments on its website. Editor Alana Newhouse says the quality of comments has increased while Tablet’s traffic hasn’t decreased, with readers and commenters heading to social networks to discuss […]

The Coral Project wants to turn comment sections into communities

You might have heard: Comment section can sometimes do more harm than good, leading some publishers to kill their comment sections But did you know: The Coral Project, a collaboration between The Washington Post, New York Times and Mozilla, is looking to transform interactive spaces on news sites through a series of open-source apps. The apps […]

Facebook announces other changes to comments and video that may draw in publishers

You might have heard: Facebook’s plan to host news content stirs strong reactions But did you know: Facebook announced several new features at its conference for developers this week that may also affect publishers’ strategies. For publishers that use Facebook for their comment sections, comments will now appear on both the publisher’s website and the […]

Involve journalists in comment sections to improve tone

Katie Steiner from the Engaging News Project writes about three studies that tested variables in comment sections to look for increases or decreases in desired activity, including civility. In one study analyzing 2,500 comments, the group tested the participation of a journalist as a factor in civility: “We know journalists don’t have free time, but […]

How Ta-Nehisi Coates built a comment section that doesn’t tolerate trolling, rudeness and bad faith

Ta-Nehisi Coates joined The Atlantic as a blogger in 2008 intentionally desiring a comment section he “wanted to read.” As his role evolved alongside the internet, Coates’ comment section came to be been recognized as a “wonder of wonders” in which “intelligent adults thoughtfully share ideas and knowledge.” Eva Holland explores how that enviable comment […]

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