How to Create an Engaging Comments Section

Friday, May 31, 2013


Creating an interesting comment space can take a lot of time and energy. In an interview from December, 2011, Bob speaks to The Atlantic senior editor and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates about his approach to internet comments and his own heavily moderated comment section.



Ta-Nehisi Coates

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [4]

Jon from West Village

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an excellent read, guest and voice for critical thinking about this issue.

I personally tend to hide behind the 'practicality' issue on this matter, not a moral response.

My Grandmother got checks from the German government until she passed at 100. It's hard to say whether this is a fair comparison. Her home was taken, her family killed in front of her, her family fortune stolen and all her brothers and sisters killed.

If we view state actions responsibly, on a spectrum, clearly she's on one end of an axis. Just because modern African Americans are not that far out on the spectrum in terms of premeditated state-lead harm perpetrated against them, does that mean they should not participate in some kind of reparations?

I don't know myself. I hide behind practicality.

May. 30 2014 11:33 AM
Andrew M from Santa Rosa, CA

Boohoo, poor poor little conservative boys. Your bullying posts get the kind of atttention they deserve. You can always go to places like Reddit where you won't be asked to be civil, or some con site where you won't be challenged to think, like Redstate. Come to think, redstate is using Disqus now, like a lot of NPR sites. Must really upset you to have to abide by civility rules, and deal with posters who care about things like facts.

Jun. 03 2013 03:23 AM
Brim Stone

Gee what about the recently erected so-called 'Race, Ethnicity and Culture "blog"' "Code-Switch" on NPR? It bills itself as an exclusive 'dinner party' with its own set of rules that exist outside of the NPR discussion guidelines and the purview of the NPR Ombudsman. Yet its pieces are presented nearly every day on NPR's home page as evidence-based journalistic pieces. 'Editor' Gene Demby routinely and ruthlessly bans any commentors who disagree at all with the premise of the pieces...especially those who disagree by presenting fact. And it removes all previous comments in all pieces by anyone it bans. It even prevents banned commentors from voting on other comments! It tries to justify this shudder-inducing bias by enumerating 'four types of comments' that are usually banned on Code Switch:

These basically boil down to: "If we don;t like what you are saying we are going to ban you".

It is unbelievable to me that someone at NPR, which eponymously bills itself as a public service, has allowed this kind of repressive media propaganda activity to be conducted. "Code Switch" is not very far removed from the kind of political regimes that jail people for speaking against the government.

Jun. 02 2013 05:11 PM
Ed from NYC

I respect Coates policing his section to have a regulated dialogue. I don't like the fact that OTM solely will use a liberal blogger to present this story. I read conservative and liberal blogs and both have their disruptive presences. Both sides, liberal and conservative, have people who troll the other side to annoy, irk, bug, disrupt and get their private anger out in that way. The focus on the liberal blog and the prior story focusing on a sophmoric misogynistic "troll" (who was a white guy called a "loser" and "meek" by Bob) presents this as a sort of white conservative race issue. It is not. Trolls/disruptive commentors can be black, white, young, old, straight, gay, male, female, transexual, strong, weak, smart, stupid, educated, uneducated - you get the point. OTM always reports from the pov of a liberal unless the days story is to appear balanced and have a conservative rebut some issue.

It is tiresome. But I guess the audience must be placated.

Jun. 02 2013 02:52 PM

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