WATCH: This Is Why the Philly.com Comments Are Changing
Here are reporters from the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com reading comments on their stories at Philly.com. It’s funny and sad and, well, watch:
That actually seems tame and merely insulting, instead of dangerously racist and idiotic, but still: It’s a sampling of the stuff reporters at the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com deal with every day.
Though maybe not for long. Philly.com today introduced readers to changes in its commenting system, attempting to shed a reputation for notorious, vitriolic commenting that prompted a 2013 Philly Mag story to sum up: “On a good day, it’s bad. On a bad day, it’s vile. There are a lot of bad days on Philly.com.”
Erica Palan, Philly.com’s audience engagement manager, highlighted two changes to the commenting system: The first is that all stories now include a reminder of the site’s commenting policy: “Short version: No hate speech or personal attacks, please.” (Commenters can still flag offending posts for deletion.)
More significant, however, is that readers will now have to “click through” to see the comments at all. The default setting will let readers ignore the comments entirely, letting them enjoy stories in complete, non-vitriolic serenity if they so choose.
“We know that sometimes there are a lot of opinions flying around the comments section and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea,” Palan wrote. “We also know that there are plenty of readers who want to chat about news stories and we’re happy to provide that forum for their conversations. Our hope is that the click-through will help keep everyone a little happier.”