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Podcast: The Future of Online Comments

At a time where media companies are shutting down comment sections and struggling to maintain civility online, it’s important to discuss the future of journalism and online communities. In the National Institute for Civil Discourse’s (NICD) latest podcast, we explored how CBC promotes a respectful exchange of ideas on CBC.ca.

Sam Lightowler, Product Owner, Web Presentation, CBC and Dan Seaman, Product Director, Viafoura, discussed with NICD the future of online comments, fake news, and how to combat internet trolls:

“As the public broadcaster, we believe CBC has a distinct role to play in creating a space for Canadians and others around the world to exchange their thoughts and ideas, discuss the issues of the day, and surface and nurture these conversations.”
Sam Lightowler

Leveraging Viafoura Civility Solution (including email verification, display name, avatar moderation, and user-to-user muting), CBC has been able to increase audience engagement below the fold (in the comment section and beyond), reduce the number of trolls, spammers, and bots, and improve the quality of on-site interactions.

“Moderation is not limited to blocking users, banning users, or removing bad comments – What we think of as weed removal – What we also need to do is encourage users to behave in positive ways to contribute value to the online discussion.”
Dan Seaman

After implementing Viafoura Civility Solution, CBC has seen a significant lift in on-site interactions in the form of comments, replies, and likes, a decrease in the rate of flagged comments, and a continued increase in overall user engagement.

To learn more about the tools and tactics to drive engagement below the fold and how to manage a growing and evolving civil online community, watch the webinar on demand: More Than a Comment – How CBC Creates Real Conversations Below the Fold.