Frequently asked questions about AnnArbor.com's commenting system
The following frequently asked questions are designed to help you navigate the commenting system on AnnArbor.com. If you have additional questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or e-mail us at email@example.com.
If you're looking for our commenting moderation guidelines, click here.
Has the process to sign in to my account changed?
No. You'll sign in to make a comment the same as you always have. You can sign in by clicking on "login" at the top right hand corner of the screen or by clicking on "sign in to comment" near the comment submission box below any story.
Can I still sign in using Facebook?
What are Most Popular Comments?
One of the new features of our new commenting system is "Most Popular Comments." On every story that has 12 or more comments, three of the most popular comments voted on by AnnArbor.com readers will be featured at the top, above the full thread of comments. We added this as a way to highlight good conversation. We trust our commenting community will vote up comments that are insightful and further the conversation.
How do I vote on a comment?
Below each comment, you'll see a button that says "vote." Simply click on that to vote on a comment. We urge you to vote on comments for a number of reasons. You may agree with the commenter or you may simply find the comment insightful. After you click the button, the word "vote" will change to "voted," and the comment's score will increase to reflect your vote. You can only vote once per comment, and you can't remove your vote. It's important to note that while you have to be signed in to AnnArbor.com to make a comment, you don't have to be signed in to vote.
What if I don't like a comment?
If you disagree with a comment, we urge you to post a reply to it explaining your opinion or post a new comment with your thoughts. If you believe the comment is inappropriate or violates our conversation guidelines, click on "report abuse" to let our moderating staff know.
How does the "reply" to comments work?
If you wish to make an on-topic reply to a comment, simply click the "reply" button below the comment, and a comment submission box will appear. Refresh the page and that comment submission box will disappear. We only allow top-level comments (or "parent" comments) to be replied to; you can't reply to a reply, for instance, although you can always reply to the top-level comment to join that conversation. If the top-level or parent comment violates our conversation guidelines, we'll remove it and all the replies that may have been posted.
How does sorting comments work?
By default, all of AnnArbor.com's comment threads are shown in descending order with the oldest comments at the top. With the new sorting feature, you can choose how you prefer to view comments by changing that ordering. You have the option to view comments in ascending order from newest to oldest or by most popular comments.
What does the RSS feed do?
The RSS feed will show all the comments in that thread. You can now put an RSS feed of comments from a particular story into a feed reader and view comments that way as they are posted.
Can I subscribe to comments via e-mail?
No, we do not offer that functionality at this time. It's something we'll continue to consider.
How do I ignore or block another commenter?
We allow our readers to block commenters they don't care to read comments from. You can't block individual comments — you can only block comments from individual commenters. To block a commenter, you have to be signed in to your account on AnnArbor.com. Then hover over the profile picture, or avatar, of the commenter you wish to block. A mini-profile will appear. Click on the red dot in the mini-profile to ignore the user.
Will there be a marker placed every time a comment is removed?
Yes. With our new system, any time a comment violates our conversation guidelines, it will be removed and a marker will be placed in the conversation noting it. Occasionally, our moderators will also jump into the conversation to note more specifically why comments were removed.
Is there a word limit?
Yes, we have a limit on the length of comments. Our limit is 2,000 characters. When you go over 2,000 characters, a red character counter will appear to warn you.
What does "report abuse" mean?
The report abuse function is for our readers to report comments that are inappropriate or otherwise abusive. It's meant to help our commenting community police itself. When you click on the "report abuse" button on a comment, you'll be able to choose from a predetermined list of reasons why you think that comment is inappropriate. You will also be able to send a private message to the moderator on duty with more details about why you object to the comment. We highly encourage our commenters to use the "report abuse" tool. When used properly, this tool will strengthen our commenting community.
What is the Demand Media icon at the bottom of the comment thread?
We are using Demand Media's commenting tools to power our commenting system. To learn more about Demand Media, click on the icon, which will take you to the company's website.
I use Internet Explorer and comments aren't working on my computer.
There are some older versions of Internet Explorer that do not work well with our commenting system. Specifically, Internet Explorer 6 will not work with the commenting system. We encourage you to upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer or use a different browser, such as Firefox, Safari or Google's Chrome.
What will happen to old comments on AnnArbor.com?
All of the older comments on AnnArbor.com have been brought over into our new system. If you go back and look at older stories, you'll be able to make comments on them, reply to comments and vote as comments just as you can now on newer stories.
Can I include links in my comments?
Yes, you can include links in your comments. However, they will always appear as plain text. You will not be able to insert HTML.
Do you have a word filter?
Yes. If you are attempting to use a word that is on our banned word list, the system will tell you which word you are attempting to use that is blocked and will encourage you to choose a new word. If you have a question about a blocked word that you think you should be able to use, e-mail us as firstname.lastname@example.org.