Gannett has confirmed earlier reports that it is now outsourcing moderation of comments on at least two of its publications’ websites to a software company called Pluck (alternately headline: “‘Pluck It’ Says Gannett.”)
According to the Gannett-owned, Wisconsin-based Green Bay Press-Gazette, Pluck staffers will review comments flagged by readers as being abusive within 30 minutes, with the option of reaching out to publication editors if they have any questions regarding any blog’s particular commenting policies. The Mississippi-based Hattiesburg American will also outsource its comments to Pluck.
Gannett Blog readers bring up the concern that, if so much responsibility is placed on individual commenters to flag what they deem as inappropriate, there is a risk of comments being flagged as a result of personal disagreements or vengefulness.
One reader notes the discrepancy — and arguable hypocrisy — of outsourcing job duties while advocating a commitment to authoratative, local coverage.
And, while it is nearly impossible for a single person to moderate hundreds of comments daily, another notes that, by shifting responsibility away from individual editors, they might miss out on valuable feedback and one-on-one relationships with their readership.