We're Changing our Commenting System—Here's Why

We're leaving Civil Comments for Disqus.

Back in January, we embarked on a bold experiment with the comments on wweek.com.

We partnered with a local startup Civil, the creators of Civil Comments, the first commenting platform designed to use peer review and self-review with the goal of creating a more welcoming comments section.

But, after six months, the results of this radical experiment are not what we'd hoped. Today, we are switching back to Disqus, our former commenting service.

The main reason is simple enough: We've seen a decrease in the number of comments on our site and the time people spend here. In other words, people weren't as engaged. In addition, we felt the conversation was not markedly more courteous. It's worth noting that this is unique among Civil clients, as other media outlets that use Civil saw a bump in their comment counts.

And in the six months since our switch, Disqus has introduced a number of new features to combat trolls and tailor the experience to each user's sensibilities. One of which is "user blocking," which will allow a reader or commenter to hide anyone whose comments you don't want to see. This system is familiar from Facebook and Twitter. If you find a comment annoying—but not so offensive that it warrants flagging—simply block the user and you will not hear anything from him or her ever again.

A comments section with high engagement doesn't necessarily have to be racist, mysogynistic and troll-heavy. It's our job to moderate these comments. It's going to be harder on us without Civil, but WW's staff will continue working to make our comments section a safe—and thriving—place.

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