It doesn’t take long for online comments to descend into schoolyard squabbling, or worse. At one point, news sites hoped active moderation and eliminating anonymous comments would keep the riffraff out. But even that has had limited success.
Now, The New York Times and The Washington Post are partnering with the open-source web browser Firefox to design a whole new system for online comments. Funded with a three-point-nine million grant from the James L. Knight Foundation, they hope to unveil the new community engagement platform within two years.
Dan Kennedy is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.
Adam Reilly is a reporter for WGBH News.