“While we created the reader comments feature to give readers a place to talk, StarNet is still our house. And our editors and staff simply do not want guests who make vulgar, abusive, obscene, defamatory and hateful comments. If you want to live in that kind of neighborhood, go create your own online forum.”
First things first, if you’re going to edit individual comments and threads, chances are you’ll have a harder time defending your paper against libel and defamation suits regarding statements made in those comments.
Second things second, that is a damn fine commenting system they’re running over there: It’s got the Digg-ish thumbs up/thumbs down function I’ve been wanting to see. It’s got the Slashdot-esque threshold I agitated for a long time ago. The paper has a clean, well-designed registration page, and users must be registered to post or rate comments. I want this commenting system. Seriously. What sort of CMS are you guys running and is the commenting system built into it, or is it an add on? E-mail me if you don’t want to, er, comment publicly.
Third of all, I’m betting this robust commenting system has a function where you can check a box for each story in the system Comments On or Comments Off. Use it.
Cases where comments-on is probably an inappropriate choice:
- any local story with a death in the lede
- any breaking news story involving a crime
- heck, most local cops/courts stories
Cases where comments-on makes perfect sense:
- every single opinion and editorial piece published in your paper
- any feature story
- any enterprise story
- anything on style, tech, food, arts, entertainment, media, business, sports
What am I missing? What’s a Comments-On story and what’s a Comments-Off story?
Cast your vote…in the comments on this post.
…a bonus point for everyone who knows why the comments thread on that Daily Star note is exactly 255 comments long…