On Friday we announced that we were making some changes to the A.V. Club’s commenting system and you responded to that announcement… 2599 times. We read a lot of those comments over the weekend—because we’re crazy party animals who do that sort of thing on the weekend—so here’s a few clarifications and some changes made in part to addressyour comments.
First, the new system will still go in to effect tonight, at which point we will close the boards to all unregistered comments. That hasn’t changed. Nor has the reason for this policy changed. It’s not that we want to fundamentally alter the tone of the A.V. Club comments sections. We honestly like the comments section for both its insightful commentary and the clever posts with the silly names. (And those who try and fail to be clever, well, we like that you try.) While we don’t all love firsties and CancerAIDS and other persistent memes, we recognize they’re a part of the site too.
What we’re hoping to accomplish is to make it easier to monitor the site in order to eliminate spammers and abusive trolls. We don’t want to delete more comments than we’re deleting already; we want to make it harder for unacceptable comments to reach the site in the first place and easier to take them down if they do slip through.
We also want you, the readers and commenters, to like the system. Which is why we’ve already eliminated one of the more controversial elements. Flagged comments will now be brought to the attention of moderators but readers will not have the power to remove or hide a comment no matter how many times it gets flagged. We’re still giving you, the reader, the power to police the site—not unlike the ordinary citizens who helped out Mahoney, Hightower, Tackleberry and the rest of the gang in Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol—but we’ll be the ones enforcing the rules.
While we’re talking, let’s talk about flagging: We’ve kept the standards pretty liberal around here and plan to keep them that way. We would like you to flag advertisements and blatantly racist, sexist, andotherwise abusive comments, but only comments that meet these criteria. Don’t flag a comment simply because you disagree with the sentiment and don’t abuse the flagging feature. Frivolous flaggers may be deleted without warning.
One more thing: The new commenting system features a collapse feature. This only affects your reading experience. Don’t want to look at a comment thread? Hit the “collapse” button and it will disappear from view. Change your mind? You can expand it and it will reappear. This only changes how a comment thread appears on your screen and has no impact on the site as a whole.
And that’s it. See you on the other side when we meet in the exciting new world of A.V. Club comments tomorrow. Also, please be aware that we might have some technical difficulties while we switch over. Expect delays between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. tonight. Your comments may not show up right away, but don’t assume you’ve been deleted. If you have any other issues, please contact email@example.com. And, above all, don’t freak out.