New York Times Rolls Out Commenting Improvements

The New York Times on Wednesday rolled out a new commenting system that rewards its most trusted users.

The Times, which moderates comments on the select stories that accept them, will now allow readers who consistently have their comments approved to post their comments without any type of moderation.

The details, reported by Poynter, are just the tip of the iceberg of a bigger overhaul of commenting at The Times.

Other new features include in-line comments, meaning that comments will appear on article pages and not on a separate page, and an easier way for Times staff to interact with readers via comments.

The gray lady has always had an interesting—and somewhat restrictive—commenting policy, and this new policy seems to represent an effort to boost engagement. As Sasha Koren, the Times‘ deputy editor of interactive news told Poynter: “Contributions from readers can enhance our reporting and coverage.”

These changes come a few weeks after Gawker’s Nick Denton said his site is developing a way to weed out “boring” comments. Finding a way to bolster quality comments while keeping readers engaged, and The Times’ model (and its changes) has always been an interesting one to follow.