Welcome to the New Commenting System

After a short but perhaps agonizing absence, commenting is back. And it has emerged like a caterpillar from its cocoon. Here are some of the changes:

• You hate spam. We hate spam. Spammers probably hate themselves a little bit. So we’ve added a more powerful spam filter. While this will keep our Ed Hardy–selling friends off the site, the filter might be a bit too aggressive at the start. This means that some of your comments may be removed by the filter as soon as you post them, but don’t freak out — we’ll have moderators watching the new filter closely over the next few weeks, putting back wrongfully removed comments as soon as possible.

• We’ve added comment threading. You can now reply to someone’s comment, keeping all tangential discussions of Obama’s birth certificate (or what you had for lunch) in one spot. We decided to keep threading to a single level to avoid too much optical clutter. For articles with a lot of commenting activity, readers will be able to sort to see threads with the most replies.

• You can now edit (not delete) your comments. You’ll have up to 60 seconds after you post something to fix typos, clarify a point, or make other changes.

• You can now “like” someone’s comment. Readers who sort by “Recommended” comments will see posts that have been “liked” or selected as coveted “editor’s picks.” This feature is NOT tied to Facebook.

• Instead of paginating through comments (and only seeing ten at a time), you can now click “show more” at the bottom of the page to see all comments at once.

• You can include a link in your comment, as long as it’s appropriate.

• We’ve increased the word-count limit by about 50 percent.

There are a few known issues. The system does not warn you when you’ve used a word that appears in our bad-word filter; it just automatically removes the comment after you’ve submitted it. We’re working to bring back the “warnings” so users do not lose comments. We know comments are sometimes loading a bit slowly and we’ll be working over the next week to speed things up. In addition, the “Most Commented Stories” module will also be down for a few weeks as we transfer over to the new system, but we’ll get it back before you know it. Finally, you must be logged in to report a comment.

Please note that our reader commenting guidelines still apply.

Let us know what you think. Definitely alert us if you spot any bugs; it’s a new system, so we expect there will be a few. You can leave a comment below or e-mail We hope you like the changes!

Update: Just a reminder that if you’re having any problems at all, please e-mail and let us know about it!

Welcome to the New Commenting System