A note on comments

We get occasional email messages complaining about our comments setup and its occasional glitches. I find it hard to respond to all these messages, mostly because I don’t know what’s going on or don’t care for the indignation that sometimes accompanies the complaints. Here is what I would like you to know, courtesy of Power Line publisher Joe Malchow:

Power Line uses Facebook for our commenting system. This means that anyone with a Facebook account (about a billion people) can comment, and it also frees us from the burden of moderating comments, which is what, in the past, always kept Power Line from having comments at all. The downside of using Facebook, of course, is that our comment technology is outsourced. That means that when readers write us with problems commenting, there is virtually nothing we can do to help them.

Our trust, however, is in the forces of the market. Facebook Comments is an infrastructure much larger than Power Line could ever hope to build itself. Websites like The Los Angeles Times, for example, use Facebook Comments. The result? If something is systemically wrong with Facebook Comments, readers can be quite sure that they are not alone, and that every effort is being taken to remedy the situation.

Power Line continually reviews the technology landscape for improvements to our site and our community. Right now, we think Facebook offers the best balance of civility and ease of access. This is a delicate balance. If and when we discover a comment technology which better supports this temperance, we will adopt it with enthusiasm.

Thank you for your readership and your consideration.


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