Reuters experiments with new points system for comments

A new points system for managing comments on news articles is being experimented with at Reuters. Comments which meet its guidelines will be rewarded with higher status.

Writing on Reuters’ For The Record blog about the issue, the organisation’s global editor for ethics, innovation and values Dean Wright says he was becoming increasingly concerned about the state of comments on Reuters’ and other news organisations’ websites.

On some stories, the “conversation” has been little more than partisans slinging invective at each other under the cloak of anonymity.

I believe our time-challenged, professional readers want to see a more rewarding conversation―and my colleagues who lead are introducing a new process for comments that I believe will help bring that about.

Editors Weblog provides a simply summary of what is being developed:

Once a person creates an account with Reuters, he is assigned a “new user” status. His comments are initially treated with caution by moderators, who award the user “points” for every satisfactory response published. Once the user gains enough points, his account is promoted so that comments will be immediately published. If a promoted user decides to write distasteful comments, he will lose points and could be demoted back to the “new user” status.

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