Changes: Now Using DISQUS Commenting System
April 16, 2012
Dear Common Dreamer,
We are writing you to let you know that Common Dreams has made changes to the system we use to allow readers to offer their comments to the articles we feature. We believe that these changes will improve the quality of the comments and encourage more readers to participate.
When we first created our commenting system 5 years ago we were excited. We knew -- from years of receiving thousands of emails about our articles -- that we had smart, savvy readers whose passionate writing should be seen by a larger audience than just our staff.
Unfortunately, like on the rest of the internet, anonymous posters have abused the “soap box” to the point that many of us have stopped reading and writing on-line comments all together.
A major technical flaw with our in-house system has been that it allowed single individuals to create multiple accounts under different pseudonyms. We have seen hundreds of examples where commenters have carried on a ‘discussion’ with their other aliases in an apparent effort to make it appear that there was more support for whatever it was that they were espousing. Or, in many cases apparently, just to disrupt the conversation.
Recently, we discovered one commenter alone had over 50 pseudonyms and has posted thousands of comments over the past 4 years -- a hoax on us all apparently intended to disrupt and dissuade participation in our commenting system. It was our final straw.
Effective today, we are switching to using DISQUS as our commenting platform. Our old commenting logins will no longer function.
DISQUS allows us more ability to protect our site from being polluted by hoaxes and commercial spam.DISQUS allows us more ability to protect our site from being polluted by hoaxes and commercial spam.
We understand that many people feel the need to use pseudonyms to make online comments and most people don’t abuse that privilege and will continue to be able to comment with pseudonyms. But -- we won’t allow single users to create multiple pseudonyms in a dishonest effort to skewer our comments.
With DISQUS, commenters can choose to create a DISQUS profile or integrate with their other social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. And our favorite new feature - the added ability to ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ each article and give ‘thumbs up’ to individual comments. This will allow you to be interactively ‘vote’ for a comment without having to comment yourself. And -- with community involvement in the moderation of the conversation -- the cream comments should rise to the top, the stinkers and ad hominem attacks shall sink.
Other progressive sites such as Alternet. org and Mother Jones use DISQUS as their commenting platform and are pleased with it.
If you are registered with DISQUS already, you can login at the bottom of the text of our articles where the comments are located. If not, there is also a link to register with DISQUS at the bottom of the articles or below here.
We hope that you will become an active participant in our new and improved comments! And please send us your feedback and help us improve as we move forward. Feedback to: email@example.com
for the whole team at Common Dreams
DISQUS info here: You can go to DISQUS at http://disqus.com/profile/signup/ directly to create an account and make changes to your profile and alerts. Then when you are on Common Dreams (or other sites that use it) you simply log in.