Sitting down with your neighbors to talk about the issues facing the community you live in is a good way to understand both each other and the issues better, but when that conversation happens on social media, it seems to be less fruitful.
Maybe that’s because it’s easier to be unkind when you can’t see the other person’s face. It’s difficult to understand what circumstances have shaped another person when you don’t know them at all.
Whatever the reason, at the Coloradoan, we want to do whatever we can to elevate the conversation for greater understanding.
A few years ago, we suspended commenting on Coloradoan.com, making the Coloradoan Facebook page the go-to place to offer comments on the stories we wrote. At the same time, our parent company, Gannett, began experimenting with different strategies to see what types of commenting platforms led to the best experiences.
And that led us to today and a new commenting feature we’re glad to begin offering registered users and subscribers of the Coloradoan.
What has changed
At the top and the bottom of each story at Coloradoan.com, you’ll find a blue “View Comments” button. (App users need to view the article in a browser to join the conversation.)
Now you don’t need a Facebook account to be part of the conversation. And we have a few more tools to help us moderate comments and to help you to control your own experience.
Our comment space is now powered by Coral, a tool created specifically for news websites. This tool was part of our experiment and piloted in about a dozen of our sister newsrooms in conjunction with the Center for Media Engagement. We found that Coral offered a better user experience, fostered a less toxic conversation and helped us better manage the space we were providing.
To participate, users must register or be logged in as a subscriber. Just use your existing subscription account or create a free account from the comments box without needing to subscribe.
With Coral, you can take control of your commenting experience. The new tool offers the ability to:
- Mute annoying voices
- See when other commenters joined
- Manage your privacy
- Download your history
- Share discussions
- Sort by most replied/respected/newest
- Receive notifications when a journalist interacts with you
- Identify journalists in the conversation
- See new comment alerts instantly
Coral’s system is fast and has the benefit of artificial intelligence to help prevent the worst behavior. If an offensive or inappropriate comment makes it through, you’ll have the ability to quickly flag the comment to a moderator for review.
If you’re new to the space, please review our community guidelines. Above all, be polite and stay on topic. It’s OK to disagree with someone’s ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban.
We hope you enjoy this new commenting experience!
Rebecca Powell is content strategist for the Coloradoan. We can’t do the important work of keeping our community informed without you. Support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.