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"In my day, we had to walk three miles uphill through the snow to post a comment."

Just complaining about online comments isn't enough

Fist smashing keyboard

Visit most news sites, and you'll find some of the web's most pointless, thoughtless and mean-spirited conversations unfolding in the comment threads. Angry, bitter, hateful people seem drawn to the comment form at the bottom of news stories like flies to a landfill.

That's been the case now for years, but the industry is finally waking up to it... in fits and starts.

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Selectively filtering comments? You may not get away with it for long.

You've just pruned the comments in your company's blog for comment spam, libel, hate speech, pornography and other abuse. But just as you're about to close the laptop, you spot one last comment.

It isn't abusive - but it's sharply critical of your organization, and touches a nerve. How easy it would be to just reeeeeeach over and click the "delete" link...

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Can The Tyee save online commenting? Here's hoping.

Effective online commenting for media sites

Things are changing at The Tyee, a Vancouver-based news and commentary site. Home to some of the best alternative coverage of issues and ideas in Canada, The Tyee's discussion threads were also becoming home to something a lot less welcome: vicious grudge matches among a handful of participants.

Readers were growing used to seeing interminable bouts of tit-for-tat insults, and would-be commenters were losing their appetite for taking jumping into the fray. It wasn't affecting every thread, but politicial discussions in particular had become dominated by a few angry belligerents.

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