How should Slate improve its comments section? A members-only open thread.

Can the Comments Section Be Saved? Tell Us How.

Can the Comments Section Be Saved? Tell Us How.

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Dec. 3 2014 9:27 AM

How Should Slate Improve Its Comments Section?

A members-only open thread.


Photo illustration by Slate.

This open thread is part of a package of coverage about commenting on Slate. Make sure to also check out “Are Comments Sections Worth It?,” a Slate Plus debate featuring writers Amanda Hess, Rachael Larimore, Amanda Marcotte, and Will Oremus, and “You Will Not Comment on This Article.”

At Slate’s annual retreat in September, Editor-in-Chief Julia Turner polled a packed room of staffers about the state of commenting on Slate. When she asked who wouldn’t mind if Slate eliminated the comments section entirely, about half the writers in the room raised their hands.

The media seems to be in a moment of commenting skepticism. See Popular Science, which removed commenting from its site in late 2013. Or Reuters and Re/code, a popular technology site, which both followed suit this November. Other sites no longer allow anonymous commenting, often requiring commenters to login via Facebook. Many Slate writers agree with these moves. They feel that commenting is broken, and they’re looking for change.

Stay cool—Slate isn’t planning to remove commenting from the site. But we do want to improve it.

How could we host better conversations on Slate? Tell us what you think in the thread below. We’re interested in hearing from both regular commenters and noncommenters. If you don’t comment, do you enjoy reading the threads? Is there anything that would make you more likely to comment? We’ll publish the best responses in a transcript next week.