As we announced earlier this month, Mother Jones is working on creating a better commenting experience. We are doing this because we want to create a space for respectful and productive discourse for our readers. As part of this project, we have created new community guidelines (now available here) and will switch to the newest version of the Coral commenting platform. With its roots in Mozilla and the open source community, Coral is designed to be a more ethical, discussion-centered commenting platform, built around best practices of privacy and community design.
We’re beginning to test how the platform works on our site—and we need your help. Coral is now live on this post (and this post only). You can create an account using your email address and start using the platform in the comments below. (Note: The account you create now will be the same one you use once we launch site-wide.) We hope you’ll let us know what you think!
Here are some of the features you’ll be able to use on Coral. You can:
- “Respect” a comment, rather than upvoting or downvoting a comment.
- Choose to “ignore” other commenters. This means their comments will no longer be visible to you; however, it does not inform them or ban them from the site. (Only our moderation team can ban people, which we will only do if someone is frequently or deliberately violating our guidelines.)
- Report a comment and explain to moderators why you believe a comment violated our community guidelines.
- Choose to view comments by “newest first,” “oldest first,” “most replies,” or “most respected.”
- Share links to a discussion thread.
- See when another user joined.
- See when comments are “featured” at the top of the comment stream.
Unlike many other comment platforms, Coral does not contain any marketing-based trackers or ads. This means it does not track you across the web, sell your browsing data, or target ads at you.
Our community’s data remains separate from the data of any other publishers using their platform, and Coral never shares or sells any of it to anyone. This means commenters on the site are here because they read Mother Jones articles. They can’t go to any other webpage to comment, and notifications are only set within our community. We expect this will improve the quality of the conversation and stop trolls on other sites from randomly participating.
Coral also contains an experimental anti-abuse filter. If the system thinks the language in your comment is abusive (not just swear words—we still allow those), it will give you an opportunity to change the comment before you submit it.
We are excited to be the very first publisher to offer the new version of Coral, which means your feedback will be directly used to shape its future, with new features rolled out over the coming weeks and months. Please let us know what you think, and both we and the Coral team will be listening. Leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to those who have already shared feedback in the comments section and through email. We’ve answered them in the FAQ section of our guidelines.