Welcome to a new year and new way of commenting on rabble.ca.
Like many online news organizations, we've struggled to find a balance between encouraging users to comment and being overwhelmed with moderation and spam.
Disqus is a commenting platform that allows users to engage in comments and discussions across the internet, connect with social media, and engage other users in a forum-type way. You can read more about it here.
We think this is a good step forward for rabble.ca, and we've put together some tips for managing our new comment platform:
1. To comment, you'll need to create an account on the Disqus platform, and you'll have to be logged in to comment at rabble.ca. We hope that you'll agree that a smoother commenting system, better moderation, and openness to new users will make registration worth your while.
2. Privacy. This was our primary hesitancy moving to an outside service. We are satisfied that it is not a significant shift in privacy for the majority of users who already like to comment and make use of other popular social media. That said, if you don’t buy into features like having your comments connected to Facebook and Twitter, and available at one location, you can take some steps to keep your Disqus account more private:
Sign up with an email account that has the level of anonymity you want. Don't connect it to your Facebook or Twitter unless you want to use the features that allow you to share comments on these other platforms. It's a tradeoff depending on how you choose to use the internet. If you have and want to remove it, in Disqus go to Settings > Edit Profile > Services and make sure they are all unchecked.
Tracking. Use a browser that allows you tell websites not to track you. For example, in Firefox go to Preferences > Privacy > Tracking and choose the appropriate option. This will limit the "recommended content" Disqus will show from other sites that it thinks you might like.
Private activity. IMPORTANT! Edit your Disqus user settings and choose profile select "Keep my profile activity private." This will ensure that people can't click on your username to see all comments you've left on all sites in one place. (Note: as with anything you publish on the internet, people can find your comments by searching on it, they just won't be able to do it easily with one click.)
While rabble.ca is very keen on internet privacy, and proud to support open source software solutions, we are also very aware that our amazing bloggers, writers, and hard working staff have not been getting the comment love they so fully deserve. We're looking forward to seeing what this shift brings to the site, so let us know what you think! Why not start by commenting with Disqus directly below this blog post?
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.