For several years GFP offered readers the ability to comment on stories using the Disqus app.
We asked readers to use their real names and we did not allow threats or foul language.
It was possible to moderate comments and delete the ones that violated our polity.
Disqus gives a website moderator the commenter’s email and IP address. There was the ability to ban a commenter or go to the police of necessary.
For a few years it worked. Then came the November 2017 election.
The number of comments soared, and few people used their real names. Moderating comments and responding to complaints started to take hours. So we pulled the plug.
Our goal is to grow traffic through an ever increasing readership, not grow traffic through the comments section.
As of April 2019 our monthly page views is steady at about 400,000 a month.
Does Disqus increase traffic? Yes. But that traffic came at a price. It just wasn’t worth it.
Check out our NPR interview on civility and online commenting just after the November 2017 election.
And if you wish to share an opinion, submit a letter to the editor. Or, post a Facebook comment. Facebook requires people to ruse their real names, and our guidelines are the same: no foul language, no threats.