How user comments got ruined—and what to do about it

Steven Waldman, Columbia Journalism Review, Oct 06, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

took the test and discovered I would have rejected all five of the comments (they would have allowed three). Of course I've never really had the fine-line judgements to make on my own site (it was either well-considered criticism from a regular reader or someone selling free essay services - nothing in between). But in some previous incarnations - most notably the 'NewsTrolls' site I co-founded in 1998 - these questions came up. My attitudes have hardened a bit since those days. I don't care (much) what people wrote on their own sites, but if it's going to show up on my site (or in my news stream) I care a lot. When I reopen comments on they will be strictly moderated  (I've thought a lot about how to do this over the years, and it's going to take some tech I still need to write).

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