New site includes assertive moderation

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We are nearing the launch of augustachronicle.com on a new platform.

You will get to see it soon.

Registered users should expect an e-mail next Wednesday explaining where to preview the site and how to log on (see bottom too). Their data has already been copied to the new site.

Every user can have a profile page with a photo. They can start personal blogs and follow each other.

Here and in an upcoming newspaper column, we’ll share a details about the new features and let you know about items “under construction.”

First up… We are changing our approach to managing story comments. We’ll be more assertive about eliminating inappropriate comments and warning/banning users who abuse the feature.  Mean-spirited notes do not foster the dialogue we seek on the feature: a place where users can interact and exchange ideas without fear of personal attacks.

Our new guideline for what is acceptable:

 Augustachronicle.com comments are enabled for a robust but respectful conversation, not for personal attacks or harassment of others. You agree not to make racist, obscene or hateful remarks. Please stay on topic. Click the abuse button to help identify inappropriate posts. Violations may result in removal of accounts.

To oversee this, we have a social media committee headed up by our Social Media Editor Sarah Day Owen and Customer Service Director Sean Moores. They will help drive consistency in our approach. They’ll be listening to your comments and highlighting insightful conversation.

Wrangling the out-of-bounds comments might be a pipe dream, but we are going to try. Bullies, who name call and make threats, will not be tolerated for very long. This is to enhance your experience interacting on the site.

The community of users will drive many of the reviews by exercising the “abuse” reporting mechanism on comments. With hundreds of comments flying at a given moment, this report helps us identify trends.

 The requirement of registration and development of a profile page may encourage some to knock it down a notch. We can hope.

 ALSO…. Your login… Preview of “Subject: Your augustachronicle.com account is migrating to the new site”.

Next Wednesday, you will be directed to our development site. Features on the old site will stop working on the old site as they start working on the new site. This is a moving day.

In the past, some readers chose a username to log in with and a different name (a "display name") that appeared with their comments and/or Spotted photos. If you are one of those readers, you'll now log in with your display name.  In other cases, we've altered usernames slightly because they contained special characters no longer allowed in the new system.

(You’ll get an e-mail telling you what username to use…)

Your new username (for login and display): [E-mail program inserts actual username]

We realize this change may take a little getting used to but know that it will be well worth it. We’ll be working through any bugs that pop up – common with any launch.

We look forward to sharing the new site with you soon!

- - -

Clarification -- The Wednesday referenced above is Jan. 27. E-mails about changing logins will only go to users whose username has actually changed. Word "next" has been added to original post for clarity.

 

 

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Comments (13) Add comment
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MarshCroaked
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MarshCroaked 01/21/10 - 12:13 am
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Well it's now Thursday and

Well it's now Thursday and no signs of an email. Which Wednesday were you commenting on?

Withamission
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Withamission 01/21/10 - 07:19 am
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Yep.  Today is Thursday. 

Yep.  Today is Thursday.  I have no email.

Alan English
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Alan English 01/21/10 - 08:31 am
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This note was posted a

This note was posted a little early, meaning next Wednesday. Noted. Thanks.

When the e-mail goes out, the story comment feature will migrate fully to the new site, plus or minus an hour.

Secondly, there will be a lag in migrating some comment data from the most recent days. We'll sync everything again after we move fully to the new site. We expect the entire migration to take 24 to 48 hours. 

If we run into hiccups, we'll post a note.

Thanks for understanding.

MarshCroaked
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MarshCroaked 01/21/10 - 08:35 am
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Thank you, Mr English. I'm

Thank you, Mr English. I'm looking forward to seeing the innovations and hopefully a level playing field for all posters. 

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 01/21/10 - 06:13 pm
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How about banning abusive

How about banning abusive commenters based on their IP addresses? That would be a ban that works in weeding out the keyboard thugs.

Connor Threlkeld
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Connor Threlkeld 01/21/10 - 07:01 pm
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One of the problems with

One of the problems with banning abusive posters using IP addresses is that most internet users have dynamic IP addresses, not static IP addresses. So if a user is banned today, their IP address might change tomorrow, and someone else assigned their IP address tomorrow might be restricted from commenting when they did nothing wrong.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 01/21/10 - 08:08 pm
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This is something I’ve

This is something I’ve advocated for a long time. Hopefully, the technical aspects will go well and we can figure out this change. I’ve observed that when a commenter makes observations about a subject that some disagree with, those posters will soon start to attack the one they disagree with. They don’t stick to the subject. It often starts slowly and builds until any fact voiced results in name calling. The harder the subject is attacked, the greater the personal attacks. It’s interesting who takes this route. They are not always the suspect posters, but also those who should know better. It’s simple. We should all stick to the subject. If you don’t agree with a comment, refute it without even thinking about who posted. If a public figure you support is criticized, it’s not your right to attack the poster, it’s your right to defend the public figure.

Moon Puppy
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Moon Puppy 01/22/10 - 08:18 am
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I guess you all are not

I guess you all are not going to fix the forums now?

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 01/22/10 - 12:07 pm
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The ability to actively

The ability to actively interact with news and opinion pieces and not just passively read, watch, or listen to broadcasts is key to this information consumer's participation. It is also vital in a participatory democracy. I welcome The Chronicle's decison to include assertive moderation. I'm not sure what the moderators can do about the current idiotic level of civil discourse in this country as well as the yellow journalism often practiced by The Chronicle's own editiorial staff. BTW, I would never had found Alan English's blog if a fellow reader from The Forum had not informed me about it.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 01/23/10 - 09:53 am
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I far prefer the Augusta

I far prefer the Augusta Chronicle electronic bulletin board (known as The Forum) to either Reader Comments or to a blog for the following reasons: Reader Comments are good for one day only and then get buried in the Augusta Chronicle archives. Blog entries also get buried in sequential manner unless tags are used to reference related posts. With a bulletin board it is possible to follow a single topic for an indefinite amount of time. I submit that The Chronicle is opting for Reader Comments with links to individual blogs specifically because it gives The Chroncile's editors more control over the message they want to get out. The Chronicle is trying to go back to the good old days before the internet when the only freedom of the press belong to those who owned one. This tactic will not work to enhance the readership of The Chronicle or to raise the level of public discourse on The Augusta Chronicle webiste IMO.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/23/10 - 05:45 pm
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The public forum bulletin

The public forum bulletin board that JHRC referred to above was a lively place.  But recently, a few posters have resorted to personal attacks and have made the overall tone kind of yucky.  I hope the Chronicle can keep the forum idea alive, but, let's face it folks, it costs money.  We should all be on our best behavior if we want this opportunity to publish our thoughts.

seenitB4
98561
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seenitB4 01/24/10 - 08:34 am
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We have seen too many

We have seen too many negative personal attacks,, maybe the new way will change that.. & we all need to stay on subject..  Thanks AC.

Riverman1
94247
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Riverman1 01/25/10 - 08:32 am
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Looks like I wasn't lying

Looks like I wasn't lying when I said I wouldn't post on the forums anymore.

Pointcove is Riverman1

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