Comments on Willamette Week are about to get a lot more Civil

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.

  1. Holy shit, Rick. I feel like you’re trolling me to write an inane, crude, and worthless comment… I mean, why would you do that? Are you some kind of idiot? This is why Ammon Bundy is right. He needs to save America from itself. He made the mistake of taking over some wildlife thingy in some hick town nobody cares about, but what he really should have done is occupy your comments section for ‘Merica!

  2. ^ Point proven. Although, you know you totally missed the opportunity for the timeles classic “FIRST!!!!1!!1”

  3. That’s what I get for trying to be clever… I guess it’s not working out that well for me.

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