If you've been reading io9 for more than a year, our new comment setup may look a lot like something you've seen before. To fix our spam and abuse problem, we've brought back the "pending comments" system. That means you guys have more control over what you see.
If you're a reader of the Gawker Media properties, you're likely aware of the problem we've been having with graphic content.
It has been a terrible experience for our writers, readers, users and staff, and it's something we've been working hard to combat over the past few days.
Addressing this issue had been on our roadmap for later this year, but a post that appeared on Jezebel earlier this kicked us into high gear. Long story short, we should have addressed this sooner. We appreciate Jezebel's candor in forcing our hand.
As an immediate solution, we disabled the ability to upload rich media into replies and wiped the offensive content from the archives. This prevented any additional graphic content from being added and kept anyone (besides our dedicated support and tech teams) from needing to see it again.
After we were sure that no additional content could be added, we began work on the first phase of our longer term fix: the reintroduction of the pending section with an updated design.
Once this system is rolled out across Kinja, we're going to reenable rich media in replies for all of our users. We're aiming to have everything in place early next week.
What are pending replies?
All replies in the system are now divided into two groups: Pending or approved.
Approved replies are written by a member of the blog where the post is written, users who are followed by the blog, or the replies that either of those two groups have replied to. Early next week, a recommendation from a blog member or followed user will also approve pending replies.
Pending replies are everything else.
Where will I see them?
You'll now notice that when you see replies on a story page, a permalink, in your notifications or your private view, they may look different. Pending replies now appear shaded in grey, with red "pending approval" text.
When you click into all replies on a story page, we're now only going to show you approved replies. It'll look a little something like this:
If you'd like to dive into the pending replies, that's a choice that we're going to ask you to make, and you'll need to proceed with caution. We want to make sure that you'll always know before landing on the page where there may be a pending reply.
We built this in about 72 hours, so there is a lot of work left to be done. But, our priority was protecting our users from seeing content that they shouldn't have to see, and returning Kinja to full functionality.
Over the next few weeks, we're going to finesse the design and explore a more inclusive approval system. We don't know exactly what form that logic will take, but we want to make sure good content isn't lost in an effort to keep out the bad.
We're also going to explore a flagging system for our users to let a blog know when bad content is appearing. We don't have an efficient system for this and we need one.
Please leave your feedback/thoughts/wishes/desires below. I, or another member of the technology team, will be here to answer your questions.
Thank you all for your patience. This is just the first step toward a better Kinja experience for everyone.