Comments. I know, right? I just saw you grimace. On many sites, they’ve lost their value. Once a means of carrying on a continuing conversation, many comment sections have become a putrid wasteland of bile, a constant reminder of everything we hate about the Internet. But Portland startup Civil is working to change that. And now Portland’s popular alt weekly Willamette Week is giving them a platform to do that.
Comments sections can be a black hole of angry trolls, misogyny and racism. They can also be a great place for readers to interact with journalists and each other. So we’ve decided to do something to fix comments on wweek.com. Starting Jan. 13, our comments section will be different from any other comments section in the world. We’re partnering with a Portland startup called Civil, which has created Civil Comments, the first commenting platform specifically designed to improve the way people treat each other online—using peer review and self-review to create a more welcoming thread. When you leave a comment on a story, you’ll have the opportunity to judge for yourself: Does this comment advance the conversation without resorting to personal attacks? Log on, leave a comment, and let us know what you think.
Willamette Week is no stranger to being an early adopter. They were chosen as the first publication to leverage the Washington Post’s rethinking of the online publishing platform, Arc, a SaaS offering.
It’s always nice to see established Portland businesses taking the opportunity to buy local and support the local startup scene. Here’s hoping that’s a trend that continues. And kudos to Willamette Week for making the leap.
For more information or to try out the comments yourself, visit Willamette Week.