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About our new Spot.IM commenting system

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While some publications have abandoned comments or driven conversations to social media, we’ve always been thrilled with the conversations you’ve had here. Whether we’re commenting on Trump’s latest shenanigans or sharing our enthusiasm for an uplifting act of bravery, it’s always great to converse and connect. But for some of us, Disqus has been a stumbling block in these efforts.

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In fact, Disqus was just acquired by a data mining company – Zeta Global – whose intentions with your data are unclear. Your data, up ‘til now, was being swept up by Zeta Global.

That’s changing today.

As you’ll see when you scroll down, comments are now powered by Spot.IM, which also powers commenting systems on Engadget, HuffPost, Refinery29, and other major web sites.

Spot.IM brings several features I’m excited about:

  • Comments are real-time, so you can see that’s someone responding to you, or typing a new comment, just like you were texting with them.
  • You can post GIFs and images right from the comment box.
  • You can also format text, using italics or creating a bulleted list, for example.
  • Active and constructive members of the community will be highlighted and noted on their profiles, while trolls and spammers will be locked out.
  • The Spot.IM newsfeed, accessible on desktop browsers with the little plus over there to the right, which will show you active conversations. You can also see what’s “popular in the community” in a new section that’s currently just below the comments, though I may experiment and move it around.

Before you start commenting, a few things to know: Whether you were an active commenter on Disqus or a lurker, there are exciting new options:

  • You can comment as a guest, with a temporary username. We’ll test this to see how it works out.
  • Those who are registered, however, will build authority in the community, and receive badges and labels—and that’s not just for those who start great conversations, but also for those who are active in reading and upvoting others’ comments.
  • Disqus users, you can sign in using your Disqus account, and claim your old comments, which show up in earlier comment threads.
  • You can also log in easily using your logins from other platforms.

There’s more to come, too! And we’re excited. What do you think? Let us know—just scroll down!

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‘Breadth and scale’ of nationwide protests is ‘staggering’: NYU history professor

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Protests continued to grow in size in cities and towns from coast-to-coast -- and around the world.

"As a historian of social movements in the U.S., I am hard pressed to think of any time in the past when we have had two straight weeks of large-scale protests in hundreds of places, from suburbs to big cities," NYU history Prof. Tom Sugrue posted on Twitter.

"The breadth and scale of #Floyd protests is staggering," he continued.

"We have had some huge one-day demonstrations, e.g. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (1963); antinuclear march in NYC (1982), and Women's March (2017). We have widespread, simultaneous protests, such as in the days following MLK, Jr.'s assassination (1968)," he explained. "But the two together--very unusual."

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Incel blew his hand off — and may have been planning for suicide bomber attack on ‘hot’ cheerleaders: report

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A young man in Virginia was photographed for his mugshot with extensive facial injuries.

"A 23-year-old Virginia man who appeared to be planning an incel bomb attack on "hot cheerleaders" accidentally blew off his hand with explosives, authorities say," BuzzFeed News reported Saturday. "Cole Carini was charged in federal court on Friday connection with the plot after he allegedly lied to FBI agents by saying his extensive injuries were the result of a lawnmower accident."

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Big turnout for protest in Texas town known as a ‘haven’ for the Ku Klux Klan

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Protesters gathered in Vidor, Texas on Saturday for a rally against racism and police violence.

https://twitter.com/JordanJamesTV/status/1269366486189080576

The East Texas town has long had a reputation for racism.

Vidor is a small city of about 11,000 people near the Texas Gulf Coast, not too far from the Louisiana border. Despite the fact that Beaumont, a much bigger city just 10 minutes away, is quite integrated, Vidor is not. There are very few blacks there; it's mostly white. That is in large part because of a history of racism in Vidor, a past that continues to haunt the present," Keith Oppenheim reported for CNN in 2006.

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