May 25, 2018
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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

By now, many of you may have noticed a new feature in the commenting section of We have introduced a meta-moderation system via a “thumbs up/thumbs down” tool next to each comment.

Many times the comment section is a productive place where readers exchange their thoughts and opinions. Other times it’s a place abused by those who wish to use anonymity for the purpose of instigation.

After asking readers for their thoughts on the tone of the comments section, in general we found that you wanted some intervention, and this tool seemed like the least intrusive. On the other hand, the option of charging a small fee to obtain and display verified identification was decidedly unpopular.

We’ve introduced this system as a way to give our audience members — those who add comments to the section and others who just like to read them — a way to help shape the discussion in their online community. Comments that are in violation of our terms of use can still be reported. But now comments that you feel are inappropriate can be managed.

When enough readers “thumbs down” a comment, it becomes hidden — not deleted — and can be read only by clicking next to the author’s user name. Comments may also receive a “thumbs up” in support, which ensures they remain open for reading.

Users can vote on a comment only once. Not once per day, once a week… just one time.

We appreciate your patience and suggestions as we improve this feature.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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