The New York Times has partnered with Google think-tank Jigsaw to help improve the paper’s comments section.
The Times’ comments are currently moderated by a team of 14 staffers who sift through roughly 11,000 comments per day. Because of that work load, commenting is only available to 10 percent of the paper’s articles.
The new, Jigsaw-backed system includes an algorithm that will help Times staffers locate trolls faster and more efficiently eliminate them.
“Maintaining a civil and thoughtful comments section is no easy undertaking, as evidenced by the number of publishers who have shut down their comment capabilities in recent years,” said Kinsey Wilson, the Times’ editor of innovation and strategy and executive vp, product and technology, in a statement. “But the Times has been and will continue to be dedicated to providing our readers with a safe online community to discuss the most important issues. And we believe open sourcing nearly a decade of Times comment archives will benefit the entire journalism industry and potentially make it easier for other publishers to manage comments on their sites.”