The Times has launched a new, more interactive commenting platform on latimes.com.
This platform, from SolidOpinion, will allow users to earn points, which can be used to elevate a comment into one of three "promoted comments" positions at the top of a thread.
Users can bid to promote either their own or others' comments. Points also can be used to prevent others from replying to a comment they've posted or to ignore comments by specific users.
Points are earned by posting and replying to comments, or when another user "likes" your comment. They also can be purchased. As users accumulate more points, they graduate to higher ranks with new commenting abilities. Conversely, users can be docked points for repeated violations of the Terms of Service.
Many elements of commenting on latimes.com remain the same. You will not need to re-register or create a new account. You can still "like" or "dislike" comments and flag those that are inappropriate. Comments that aren't in one of the three "promoted" spots will appear in chronological order.
Comments will continue to undergo moderation by the same team, and some articles will still be set to premoderation, meaning all comments on that article must be approved by a human before posting. (As a reminder, it is articles that are premoderated, not users. If you get a notification that your comment is awaiting moderation, that applies to everyone else who comments on the article as well.)
The goals of commenting on latimes.com also stay the same: Be as critical or as admiring as you like, but treat other commenters and the articles' subjects and authors the way you'd like to be treated. Be respectful, not profane, offensive or inflammatory. Be relevant and original.
The SolidOpinion platform replaces Viafoura's software, which The Times began using in 2014. With the switch, the old platform has been disabled, meaning comments posted to latimes.com before April 1 are no longer visible.
Ready to give the new commenting platform a try? You can start below, by letting us know what you think about this change.