Something amazing has been happening in the CBC News commenting community over the last 6 months. The number of people commenting and the number of comments being posted has been growing exponentially. More and more Canadians are choosing CBCNews.ca as their destination to discuss the news that affects them on a daily basis. This is incredible engagement with audiences. In fact, in the last six months, the volume of comments has doubled. CBC News reporting and story-telling is increasingly becoming the starting point for national conversation.
With this good news, comes a challenge. The financial cost of moderating our comments increases as the volume of comments goes up. It’s a good challenge to have, but something we can’t ignore. That’s why we’ve been experimenting with strategies for managing the number of comments moderated on discussion threads on CBCNews.ca stories.
You may have noticed fewer stories with comments open. We are also only opening comments on any given story for one day. And if a new story is filed on a story that already has open comments, we are closing off the old discussion and starting again on the latest news. We have also been experimenting with reactive moderation on some stories. Reactive moderation means all comments get published but when the community flags a comment they’re looked at by a moderator.
We recognize it’s a work in progress. As a public broadcaster, we must be mindful that we are managing our bottom line responsibly. We also need to manage our legal risk, and we want to ensure our comment boards are a welcoming and respectful space for all Canadians.
As we move forward we will do our best to be transparent and keep you informed about the changes in our commenting community. We are proud to say that CBC News has the largest and most thoughtful commenting community in Canada and we value its members — you — highly. We want CBC News to remain the go-to place for Canadians who want to have a meaningful discussion about the stories and issues that are important to them and make a difference in their lives.
We welcome your feedback on these and any changes we make.