A Comment on Comments

Alert readers likely have noticed that we have begun enabling comments on our posts on a selective basis. The comment system we are using is via Facebook. That means you have to be logged in to Facebook to comment, and your comment will also appear on your Facebook page. (You may have to check a box to enable this.) Comments have already been lively.
Why Facebook? We experimented with comments a year or two ago, and the problem we had was that they required a lot of moderation. Which, in turn, required time that we just didn’t have. The Facebook system is great because people generally have Facebook accounts in their own name that are linked to their friends and family. This generates a reasonable amount of decorum; no one wants to be a vulgar or abusive troll if people can see who he is. So we are hopeful that this system will be close enough to self-policing that we can adopt it on a permanent basis.
Not everyone wants to comment. We have heard from many readers over the years that they are glad that our site is not cluttered up with comments. At the same time, we all know that a great many people who frequent sites like ours do want to have their own say. For the foreseeable future, to preserve the compactness of our front page, we will not show comments, by default. If you want to comment, click on the “view responses” button at the top of the post. That will show you the comments so far, and allow you to post your own. To do so, you need to be logged into your Facebook account. I think the process will be self-evident from there.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, you should get one! Which raises another point: it is very easy to share our posts on Facebook by hitting the “fshare” button that is right next to “view responses.” We very much appreciate it when you share posts you like with your Facebook friends. You can tweet them, too, as well as share them in other ways.
If you have any questions or feedback on the comments system, please write us at [email protected]
UPDATE: No, wait! I have enabled comments on this post, so you can share your thoughts that way.


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