Changes coming to site commenting

We want to take a moment to let you know that we will be making a major change to the commenting system on over the next few weeks.

As part of this change we will no longer be using IntenseDebate for comments.

While IntenseDebate debate has served us well for a number of years, we will be migrating to a new platform that will provide a much more user-friendly commenting system, allowing for better interaction and higher-quality discussion.

There may be a few bumps along the way, but we hope that you will all be as excited about the change as we are. We have a fantastic group of commenters here on and hope you’ll continue to be an important part of the site going forward.

What will happen to my old account?

Your IntenseDebate account will remain as it always has with and you will be able to continue to use that login on other sites that make use of the IntenseDebate commenting platform.

Will I have to sign up for a new account?

Yes, as part of this move we will be starting fresh and you will need to sign up for a new commenting account with, or sign in with your Facebook, Twitter or OpenID account. We understand that having to create a new account may not be ideal for all users, but we hope that once you see all the great features of the new commenting platform you’ll be happy with the change.

Do I have to use my real name?

No. We intend to continue to foster an active commenting community and will not require your name. You can pick whatever available username you want when signing up for a new account. Using Facebook or Twitter to sign in is only an option and not required.

What other features does the new system have?

One of the major features of the new commenting system will be significant performance improvements. This should translate to faster page load times and quicker access to comments. The new system will also work better on mobile devices, and allows for instant display of new comments without having to reload the page, so popular commenting threads can turn into near real-time conversations. You’ll also see easy interacting with other social networks, and we will be leveraging advanced anti-spam capabilities to help keep the bots at bay.

What about the trolls?

As with any public commenting system, there are those whose goal is to harass or annoy other users. This is an unfortunate part of engaging with any large community on the web, but our new tools will help drastically reduce the level of abusive comments.

As always, we invite a vibrant and thoughtful dialog and we do not moderate comments based on popularity or the opinions expressed. We rely in part on our readers and commenters to flag obscene, offensive, off-topic or spam posts. We can’t stop problematic posts from being made, but the new system will make it easier to keep those who choose to be abusive from being disruptive to others.

We want to continue to foster an active and engaged commenting community and hope that reducing the number of bad apples helps drive an even greater number of thoughtful, informative comments.

What do I need to do now?

Nothing. Once the changeover has occurred you'll find the new commenting features below stories throughout the site in the same place where the existing commenting features can be found. You’ll be able to sign up and start commenting as soon as you see the new system on the site.