Patheos is partnering with a new comment system created by World Table. The folks over there are trying to work on an innovative solution for trolls and nonconstructive comments. I’m super excited to see how it will work and what kinds of changes it will bring to the world of Internet commenting.
Learn more about it at their website here: https://www.worldtable.co/
This system is going to give you the readers a lot of control over the community. You’ll have the chance to rate comments on a number of qualities and reward people who give thoughtful comments with a raised score.
It will require you to sign in with a social media or Disqus account so that it takes away anonymity, which a lot of people theorize contributes to negative experiences in comment sections.
This system is still in alpha testing so we have a real opportunity to influence how it develops. It also means we will need some patience as not everything is working yet or working perfectly. There are several Patheos blogs already using it and it seems to be working well so far.
One thing we’d love to test out and try is to see if non-English characters work. So if someone would put a comment in Hindi script, that would be really helpful!
I will have the ability as moderator to set the low threshold for acceptable scores. So if someone’s score falls really low because a lot of people are complaining about that person’s content the blog can automatically block the person.There are a couple of things I’ll be curious to see in action.
I have a concern about people voting comments in a fair way. We have a lot of passionate opinions on this blog that can be extremely opposite. I don’t want to see anyone get ganged up on and their rating diminished because of a philosophical difference of opinion. So we’ll have to see how that all works. However, I’m told that people do need to have some cred built up within the system before they can “downvote” other people’s comments.
One of the ratings that you can give is on a person’s likability or the likability of the comment and I’m a little uncertain how that’s going to play out. I know my feelings would be hurt if I were voted unlikable!
Internet comment systems do need a new approach and I’m very interested to see if World Table will be able to recreate them in a way that is healthier and more constructive for everyone.
So let us know what you think! Test it out, play with it, make comments. If you have any trouble making comments, use the Contact Me button on the About tab above.