New Commenting System
As of March 31, we've installed a new commenting system on our redesigned site, which will allow for much more effective community moderation of comments made on articles.
The system has several key components:
1. It allows for you to log in and comment using your social media account - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or OpenId. Or, you can create a LiveFyre account.
2. It allows for you to tweet or post your comment to Facebook by checking a box on the comment
3. It allows for community moderation - if two other readers mark a comment as offensive or off-topic, that comment will be removed automatically. If a given user is flagged too many times, that person will be banned from commenting.
4. It allows us to name community moderators, and to 'whitelist' users whose comments and/or commentary are particularly well-regarded by the community.
We have received increasing complaints from readers about anonymous commenting on our sites. This system will go a long way toward limiting the anonymity, but will not entirely prevent it.
Instead, we expect the higher, quicker community standard to, with our help, self-regulate.
Here is our basic comments policy:
We never censor comments based on political or ideological point of view.
We only delete those comments that are abusive, off-topic, use excessive foul language, or include ad hominem attacks.
We operate under the community moderation model: We respond to community requests for moderation, but the system has tools which allow for the commenting community to moderate itself.
If you would like to be considered as a community moderator, please send us an email or a facebook message.
There are a few scenarios in which a comment might be blocked:
1. A comment is abusive, off-topic, uses excessive foul language, or includes an ad hominem attack
2. If a commenter has previously posted comments that are abusive, off-topic, used excessive foul language, or include ad hominem attacks, a TimesArgus moderator may decide to ban the commenter's IP address. This means the abusive commenter is banned from commenting on the site in the future, even if the later comments are not abusive. We ban IPs because the sheer volume of comments makes it too time consuming to individually delete comments written by someone with a pattern of abuse.
3. If a commenter shares a computer or IP address with someone who has written abusive comments, it could result in a comment being blocked even if the commenter has never posted anything abusive. In the future, we plan on introducing a user log-in feature that will help mitigate this sort of situation.