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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:

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  • 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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In April 2017, partners from McKinsey & Company sent a confidential final report to the New York City corrections commissioner. They had spent almost three years leading an unusual project for a white-shoe corporate consulting firm like McKinsey: Attempting to stem the tide of inmate brawls, gang slashings and assaults by guards that threatened to overwhelm the jail complex on Rikers Island.

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