Category: Social Voting

Ways that Social Voting Keeps the Comment Trolls at Bay

Is this actual footage of you when you accidentally (or purposefully) click into the comments section on Facebook or in an article?


Who can blame you? Comment sections are notoriously filled with trolls and we aren't talking the small one's with pink hair and pot belly's. These trolls are more akin to the cave troll from Lord of the Rings.

There are plenty of companies trying to solve this problem by implementing processes that require users to do tasks such as complete a quiz before commenting, to making users respond to other comments before being able to comment.

Then, there are the publishers that just said screw it and deleted the entire comments section all together.

Yet, we still have yet to see publishers offer more robust commenting systems. Who can blame them? When your comment sections are comprised of angry village people that are picking a part your articles and being horrible to one another it's tough to want to activate that comment section.

Social voting can alleviate these problems. When publishers take back the conversation they can refocus where readers attention and energy is directed all while giving them a voice. These different strategies help you engage your readers meaningfully and dodge the trolls.

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1. Ask inline questions.

By asking your readers questions you can sometimes get them to respond directly in the comments section. Or at least, you can start a conversation framed around a particular topic. This strategy will work great if you don't mind a couple of trolls in your comment section.

2. Monitor current commenting systems.

This strategy is employed by a lot of big name publishers. Jezebel for example has a strict set of guidelines for their community to follow in order to have their comment published. Other similar methods include approving every single comment that will be posted in the comments section. While this is thorough and allows for only productive comments to be published it is extremely tedious and can lead to bias during interpretation.

3. Social voting tools.

There are a lot of products out there that can help you frame the conversation that is happening on your site. By asking a pointed question in the form of a poll, survey, etc. publishers can easily source opinions from their audiences. This allows for a more democratic process while also keeping the topic relevant.

Opinions are tough and everyone has one. These tips can help you and your audience come together and have a discussion instead of fighting one other.

Maranda Jones

Marketing Director at SquareOffs #OnwardandUpward

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