We’re reinstating the ability to comment under Cobb County Courier articles

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In August of last year, I removed the ability to comment under Cobb County Courier articles onsite.

There were two reasons for this.

The first was that moderating comments was time-consuming. Articles about controversial topics often attracted trolling and childish online behavior, including a few comments that were racist, threatening or of other natures that we at the Courier do not tolerate.

The second reason was that most people who wanted to comment did it on Facebook or Twitter.


After examining sites where commenting seems to work well, I began getting recommendations from other online publishers I know about how to manage comments, and decided to give it another try.

I’m using the popular Disqus system to manage comments. At first, I’m going to be reasonably permissive with comments, but if the situation gets out of hand, I’ll start requiring registration for people to post, and might even hold each post for review before posting.

By “out of hand” I don’t mean disagreeing with me or other posters. I mean insulting, abusive behavior. If you want to do that, Twitter is probably a better place for you than our comment section.

I’ll work up a formal set of rules over the next few days, and post a link to them, but if you just remember to keep your temper, be nice, and don’t insult people, you’ll probably be okay within the extended rules.

The role I’d really like to see the comment section play is to build a sense of community. To some extent, Facebook groups play that role, but in my experience, Facebook has an amazing ability to ruin the best things about the platform and to abruptly change the interface, the rules, and the extent to which you even see posts you’re interested in.

I can’t promise the comments will stay up forever. When I removed them, a was at wit’s end removing spam and posts from trolls.

But I’m going to give it a shot, so feel free to post a comment under this “From the Editor” post, and click on the emoji that best describes your reaction.