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What an academic hoax can teach us about journalism in the age of Trump
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Jan. 23, 2013, 9:35 a.m.
LINK: techcrunch.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   January 23, 2013

First Politico’s Dylan Byers announced that his site was moving from Facebook Comments to Disqus:

Next Monday, this blog will begin using the Disqus platform for commenting, which means you no longer have to log in to Facebook to share your thoughts…By default, high quality comments will filter to the top, and poor quality ones will not show up on the page. Hopefully, that will foster a more focused and constructive discussion.

Then TechCrunch joined the movement. After switching to Facebook Comments in 2011 to battle comment trolls,

…we eventually discovered that our anti-troll tactic worked too well; The bullies and asshats left our comments sections, but so did everyone else. Now, several years later, after dozens of endless meetings and conference calls, we’ve decided we’re going to try out Livefyre instead of Facebook Comments.

Frankly, our trial with Facebook Comments lasted way too long at too steep of a cost. Sure, Facebook Comments drove extra traffic to the site, but the vast majority of our readers clearly do not feel the system is worthy of their interaction.

Facebook’s system does do as good a job as any at enforcing real-world identities for commenters. But these decisions show that real-world identity ain’t everything.

(In other commenting news, Talking Points Memo (which uses Disqus) announced this morning it’s looking for volunteer comment moderators from among its readers.)

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