/Film Announcement: Commenting Changes

Hey Guys and Gals,

/Film has grown dramatically over the past few years, and so have the amount of people who comment on the site. To give you an idea of just how many, we’ve had around 20,000 new comments in the last month alone. A nice group of regulars can be found in most of the comment threads on the site. But as the community has grown, so has the amount of trolls and irrelevant entries. It has become a growing problem, and the time has come to take action.

I have decided to lock off the comment section to only registered users. By this I mean you will no longer be able to comment on /Film unless you are logged in with Facebook, Disqus, Twitter or Google accounts. We will no longer allow anonymous commenting. If you have any of the mentioned social media accounts, it is extremely easy to log in and leave a comment.

I have always been a big believer of an open system, allowing anyone and everyone to leave a comment. When you close any system, and put up a gate, you automatically shut out almost 50% of the possible users. While half of our comments come from anonymous users, our analysis has shown that most of these comments add very little value to the discussion (and if they do, it’s largely negative). As it turns out, people who don’t want to take the few seconds to register an account, or log in with one of their preexisting social media accounts, usually don’t put much effort on their comment submissions anyway.

David Chen has been pushing me for a while to change over to Facebook comments, which would force all commenters to shed anonymity. The idea is that users are better behaved when their real name and Facebook profile is attached. I was largely against this option as we’ve had a large amount of industry insiders comment on the site, and they would not be able to do so without the protection of their privacy. I understand this need, and that is why we’re allowing comment login with a few other social media accounts. So alongside Facebook, you’ll also be able to comment with your preexisting Disqus, Twitter and Google accounts. This will allow those of you who would be unable to post under their real names to still do so. Plus, 60% of our existing logged-in commenters already have Disqus accounts, so we dont want to abandon those users. At the same time, we’re going to keep a closer watch on the comments and use the ban hammer when required.

We know that in the coming days and weeks you will see less comments per /Film article — this is unavoidable. We’re more concerned about the quality of the comments than the quantity. And hopefully through this added measure, we’ll be able to grow as a community. Please, join us!

Peter Sciretta
/Film Owner/Editor

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