The new comments system is here

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We’ve just added our new comments system to the site. Have a look? The thinking behind it can be seen on this post from a few months ago.

It will help us do the following things:

  • Help readers find the best comments quickly. We often have 100+ comments on a thread. You will now be able to highlight the points that you agree with and that you think are original or well-made points.
  • See who you regularly agree / disagree with by looking at readers’ profiles – and see how often their posts have been commended by other readers
  • Make it easier to apply the comments policy. All users will be able to flag comments that they think breach it, and the site administrators will have the option to award the offender a yellow card (short ban from the site), a red card (longer ban) or – in extreme cases or cases of repeated rambunctiousness, the black spot (indefinite ban)
  • See an archive of each commenter’s activity – see what threads they’ve commented on and what they’ve said in the past.

We can’t always respond to flagged comments instantly, but we’ll miss a lot less skulduggery this way. At the moment, the Yellow Card = a seven day ban and a Red Card = fourteen days but we can change that. Let’s see how it goes?

Lastly, thanks to Channel Four for sponsoring this development – it’s an experiment that we think will be worth watching. In due course, the system will be released as an open-source WordPress plug-in and other sites will be able to use it if they want to. Also, thanks to our developer Simon Wheatley who has been at his problem-solving best throughout the development and Simon Dickson who did the back-up donkey work getting the rest of Slugger to work so effectively under our WordPress-busting volume of posts and comments.

Please let us know about any bugs that you find or features that you think could be configured a bit more effectively in the comments below?

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