We’re re-opening comments on MediaNama.

Once upon a time, we had a thriving comments section, with debates going into pages about opinions and news developments. We also had anonymity in comments, which enabled us to get some fascinating insight, the occasional troll, and some spam that missed the filter. MediaNama’s comments then saw participation from industry folks like Info Edge founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, One97/Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Times of India group’s Satyan Gajwani, among several others.

As our readership and community grew, however, the anonymity began being abused: users began posting false information, and using the space to make unfounded allegations and resorting to abuse. Our operating rule for comments was: you can abuse this publication, you can abuse me (Nikhil), but no one else. Spam also went out of hand, and people began registering to leave abusive comments. The comments platform we were using, Disqus, also started showing ads which we felt weren’t the kind of ads we’d like showcased. We shut down comments because it was too much to handle. In any case, most commentary had switched to social media.

We’re now re-opening comments on a controlled basis:

  • Users will have to sign in for commenting. Sign-in is available with multiple options: Google, FB, WordPress, Twitter or just email.
  • Users will have to be manually approved at least once before a comment appears. Once approved, they may comment repeatedly.

Our rationale for re-opening comments:

  • There’s value in the posts but there’s great potential for value in comments, where there can be a meaningful debate.
  • Social media is transient, but comments to a post stay with it, and add value to reader, irrespective of when they read it. Read some of our posts from a decade ago, and you’ll see what I mean.
  • Sometimes we get tip-offs in the comments to a post. ;)

We’re opening up comments on an experimental basis here, and they’ll remain open unless there’s abuse of the comments section. Let me know what you think about this. Do leave a comment below :)