We’ve tried several ways to improve and monitor our reader comments section over the years, and have attempted to create a balance between informed exchange and the freedom to offer a wide range of contributions. Many readers have let us know that we have not entirely succeeded.
With the new comments section beginning today, we believe we have a section that will appeal to both readers who like the engagement of a lively comments section and those who would rather not see the comments at all. You’ll notice that at the bottom of our stories is a very limited number of comments — the highest rated — followed by a prominent link to view the full list of comments.
If you like to read or post comments, click the link and you will see the headline of the story, which serves as an easy link back, as well as the comments. All the rules around courtesy and decency still apply on this new page, and we will continue to monitor comments flagged by readers.
From the comments page, there are three ways to move on to other stories: at the top of the page are previous and next story links, the most-read box is still on the right side of the page and stories related to the one you’ve just read are at the bottom of the page. At the very top of each page is a link back to the section you are reading.