We Are Reopening Comments

We are reopening comments today. As we discuss in more detail below, we have made some changes that we hope will allow the comments section to operate once more as it has in better times in the past: as a place for members of the NC community to debate important topics, question the validity of information and analysis, add to or as needed challenge posts, and for Links and Water Cooler, bring up research or news stories that have escaped our view.

Rest assured that we missed our discussions as much as you did. The overwhelming majority of those who wrote us privately were supportive, even if they also regretted the decision, since they understood how the physical and emotional wear and tear of managing the comments section had increased greatly over the last two years (and it was already higher than most readers appreciated). Some also offered suggestions. For instance, reader Greg G wrote:

Maybe just totally embrace the need for a comment time-out and don’t fret it. Go with the “circuit breaker” analogy they use in the financial markets (and electrical systems), give everyone a chance to cool down. Just make it part of the business now, throw the breaker, a standard notice is displayed, and let it sit for a day or two. Ban without hesitation and just feel good.

It’s not you. It’s us.

As you all know, we kept the comments section closed longer than we would have liked. That’s because we saw a need for fundamental changes and we had to spend some time thinking about what if anything we could do. Without going into specifics, Lambert and I have looked into many options over the years, as well as watched other sites and mainstream media organizations experiment, and have also consulted with experts. There really isn’t an alternative to having individuals who are well-schooled in both the subject matters at hand and in debate/argumentation intervention if we wish to keep the discussions on a high level. 1

NC has become a case study for mainstream media organization because we show that an engaged audience is due not just to the high caliber of our readers but also to the considerable effort we put into moderation and managing comments generally. Because this effort takes place “behind the scenes,” people can’t see it, and so can’t recognize the resources it takes (were it not for our harping on it from time to time). However, that people don’t realize that comment moderation is work is in some ways a testament to our success; a good performance should look effortless despite all the rehearsing and backstage support.

Nevertheless, keeping the comments at their former high level has taken vastly more in time and energy than it used to. Even after engaging Outis, it felt like we were waging a losing battle.

How Comments Went Into the Ditch in August

Even though the comments section has had its ups and downs, we saw two sorts of changes happen. First, starting with 2016 election cycle, and intensifying after Trump’s victory, the number of comments rose significantly and stayed high, accompanied by a marked decrease in average quality. Some of this may have been due to newbies not understanding that NC is not a chat room, not Reddit, and not Facebook, and some of it was the result of successful emotional gaslighting by Trump, the Democrats, and the media, all of whom profited in various ways from getting and keeping people upset and angry. The proportion of heated, heavy on opinion, low on information and analysis comments rose greatly.

While the site has also had long periods where the commentariat plays well together, in terms of both stimulating conversations and good exchanges of information, punctuated by short periods where lots of people seem to have gotten out of the wrong side of bed, August was a protracted period of low-value arguments on hot news topics which were also wide of what NC is supposed to be about, which is finance and economics.

Over NC’s history, one particularly troubling symptom of such periods of disequilibrium is that well-established, well-liked commenters go irretrievably off the rails. This happened in August as well, to our great distress (rather like going to dinner with an old friend and seeing a toad jump out of their mouth).

Changes We Are Making To Improve the Comments Section

New site admin. Please welcome Jules Dickson, who will be joining Outis in overseeing comments on a daily basis. I’ve known Jules for over 30 years, back from my first study at McKinsey. Jules took on a role at McKinsey that regularly involved telling associates and managers that they hadn’t thought through a problem well. Later, Jules was one of the content producers at a popular entertainment site where, for reasons too complicated to discuss here, flame wars regularly broke out among the subscribers. Jules was hands-on in tamping down the disputes. Jules will probably not comment in the first couple of weeks while getting a feel for the personalities and the subject matter, but expect to see Jules as an active participant in due course.

Updated comments policies. Please read them!

Modifications to comments software. We’ve made some changes to the comments template as well as to the software in our backstage. The changes to the front-end give short reminders of the behavior we would like to see, and will hopefully lead to an improved experience for everyone.

Comments holidays. I was on vacation last week, and not having to check comments (which takes 1-2 hours of my day) meant I had something approaching a real break (I still have hundreds of e-mails daily). I know Lambert and Outis also appreciated the respite from the work of comments oversight even though they missed reader interaction.

We will have a comments holiday from Christmas to New Years’ Day, inclusive, and one week in summer going forward.

Again, welcome back, and I look forward towards more stimulating conversations, updates, and corrections and additions to posts!


1 We’ve had many readers over the years and during our recent time out volunteer to help moderate comments. There are two reasons we can’t take advantage of all these kind offers. First, making comments and moderating/intervening in comments are two different skill sets. Even an excellent commenter is not necessarily the right person for the task. Second, WordPress requires that someone who moderates comments must also be a site administrator. That gives them the power to wreak havoc with the site, either by accident or design. So we can have only trusted parties that we have known well for a long time in real life play this role.

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      1. What is in a Name

        It is good to see comments are back, with an expressed position on being informative.

        Not certain how you can be unfamiliar with the term “circuit breaker”. Have you not seen Jurassic Park, when “Ellie” (actress Laura Dern) turns on the power to the park through the main circuit breaker. The application of “circuit breaker” seems appropriate for discussions that either get out of hand or become largely too off topic.

        Akz, you do know every home, apartment, and business has a main circuit breaker that has a main switch that if turned to the off position will cease the flow all power within that structure. Sometimes depending upon electrical layout even the security and emergency lighting can be impacted. Although for most businesses there would be a local law violation if there was not a backup system in place to restore power to at least those emergency systems.

        Further I would say that an anarchist could be collectivist. In being an anarchist toward a currently operating system. Maintaining that a change is needed for an overall group. But will not maintain either a uniform view toward collectivism or pure anarchy, yet become less anarchist once the appropriate changes have been implemented within the system.

        The most appropriate example that I can come up with would be Captain Kirk from the movie series Star Trek (2009, 2013 and 2016). In that the Kirk character seems to have moments of anarchy while living in a predominantly collectivist society.

      2. jrs

        well collectivist of course is neither good nor bad in itself right? But some anarchists have the focus more on how a very different and less or often anti-hierarchical and certainly not capitalist society would increase individual freedom (which it almost certainly would in any sense that matters). And others have the focus on the collective whole I guess, maybe sometimes the whole of life if it’s getting into ecological stuff.

  1. Roaring Mouse

    I’ve largely moved on from this site due to its operators belief in the need to repress expression. Good luck with your ideological strong-shepherding. Karma will settle up in due time.

    1. Lord Koos

      With that attitude, you likely will not be missed. I’ve always found the moderation of comments on this site to be more than fair.

    2. jrs

      what sites do you like? I’m always looking for other good (and frankly what I’m looking for is good left-wing) sites. Though I still checked here some even without comments.

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Yves and Lambert and Jerri and Outs ARE KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK ON THIS SITE!


    4. Angie Neer

      Commenting on a blog is not a natural right. The idea that you’re being repressed because NC doesn’t provide a platform for your self-expression is absurd. You are free to express yourself to every single person you meet walking down the street (though it is true that it could be hard to get them to agree with you..life is tough that way), on every blog you run, and on any of a bazillion other sites. I come here to read well-informed and thoughtful writing. On good days, that includes many of the comments. But I didn’t miss the nattering.

    5. Anon

      This a “trick” right? Begin the comments, after a request for reflection and self-awareness, with a “take my ball and leave” statement.

      Yves, thanks for ALL the wonderful physical and intellectual work that you do with NC. I look forward to again seeing smart, thoughtful comments/insights about the websites content. I hope I can live up to your standards.


    6. Brian Stegner

      Ah, a mouse with the courage of his convictions… We’ll really miss you. As a going-away gift, perhaps someone could text you the moment Godwin’s Law is first breached?

    1. cocomaan

      Yep, wanted to come on to say that I missed all the great people around here. This is a valuable part of my day.

  2. kristiina

    “largely moved on” – well, kind of makes you think, seeing this as comment number 2. But I completely agree that karma will settle up, or whatever one chooses to call that thing where you reap what you sow or lie in the bed you made. Putting your house in order – the benefits of that are immeasurable (I think this was said by L. Cohen). Thank you for the exquisite pleasure of having a place for reasonable conversation. In these times it is also good to be reminded about the herculean effort that goes into keeping the virtual environment benevolent. One more thing: will Outis have any guest posts? I thoroughly enjoyed those posts, so hoping the moderation will not take all of the creativity away.

    1. rusti

      In these times it is also good to be reminded about the herculean effort that goes into keeping the virtual environment benevolent.

      I have to confess that these comment-related austerity measures have made me aware that I took that effort for granted. I’ll have to pony up more for next month’s fundraiser if it means keeping people like Outis and Jules on the staff.

  3. mad as hell

    What makes your site is the comments sections.Yea the articles are good however the personal reactions are better. Stop that and you have lost my interest and no doubt others too. I’ve been checking every week to see if it was turned back on. Today I found out it’s on. Good! I can partially understand your frustrations with all the crazy comments that were being generated. However this is America and right now it doesn’t get any crazier than this. I am sure your web traffic will start to increase again thru the coming days and weeks.

    I have quit commenting frequently because when I do there is always someone who
    will disagree. Which is fine and what this site is all about. However I don’t want to spend a portion of my retirement days arguing on a computer. Enough said.

    If the work affects your health and sanity then it’s time for a different path. It ain’t worth it! It has been said so many times” if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen!”

    Hope you guys work this out and welcome back!

    1. Lambert Strether

      > I am sure your web traffic will start to increase again thru the coming days and weeks.

      August 2015: 1.2M

      August 2016: 1.3M

      August 2017: 1.2M

      If we took a hit, it wasn’t significant. Showing you that we keep the comments sections open for reasons other than chilly economic rationality.

      1. phaedras25

        I do love a data driven response! I’m thrilled comments are back, but NakedCapitalism is amazing because of the people running regardless of our contribution. Thank you for what you have created and sustained for so long.

      2. Kim Kaufman

        re Aug. 2016 spike in readers at NC. This was the month of Dem and Rep conventions going into a very dramatic federal election. In radio, there is always an upsurge in listeners from the conventions through the November election that goes back to normal by about February. Talk/news stations all over the country get a bump because people are engaged. I know from looking at the ratings for a non-commercial LA station, the classical and jazz stations go down and move to the three non-commercial talk/news stations. I no longer see ratings but I suspect this year the bump lasted longer but is returning to normal.

      3. Vatch

        Thank you for restoring the comments. I understand that we weren’t seeing a lot of the annoying stuff that the moderators see.

        I continued to read articles during the hiatus, but I definitely spent less time here after commenting was turned off. I’m not sure how detailed the web traffic log data is, but is it possible that some of the people who connected during August of 2017 were connecting to see whether commenting had been restored? That could have an effect on the usefulness of the traffic data. Does your traffic log distinguish between connections to the home page, and connections to articles?

      4. Oregoncharles

        Actually, that suggests you lost 200,000 hits in 8/17 (considering the growth curve). I can tell you one reason: when there are comments, I come back repeatedly; when there aren’t, I don’t. I assume that’s pretty typical.

        Actually, I was assuming you saw more overall growth than that. You deserve it. We all need to work harder on promoting the site.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, there is no “growth curve”. Our peak was 2.2 million page views per month in 2010. And we had WAY WAY WAY fewer comments back then. Our best month in 2015 was during the Greek crisis, when we had been forced to shut off comments on most posts because left wing European readers hated what we wrote and wanted to equate us saying that the was not going to be a deal and the ECB on behalf of the Troika could and would crush Greece was falsely depicted as being on the Troika’s side. Saying that a patient has Stage 4 cancer similarly does not mean the doctor is rooting for the cancer.

          In case you missed it, economic blogs have been dropping like flies since the crisis. Circulation for MSM pubs has been falling. They got a new lease on life thanks to Trump. Smaller sites suffer from competition from the ever-rising proliferation of sites and social media outlets on the Web. For instance, Twitter was a nothingburger when we launched. Hard core political blogs (which we are not) have big traffic in Presidential election years and less in other years. We benefitted a fair bit from election traffic.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Yeah, no.

      I don’t come here for Jim Haywood or your comments TYVM.

      I come for the careful curation of the cesspool that is the World Wide Web.

      Haven’t you noticed the lines being drawn after #Chairgate in Nevada last year or Putin Derangement Syndrome and the DNC?!

      Shit is going down real quick!

      Naked Capitalism has been the Vanguard Site lately, and they deserve all the credit.

      NOT US.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > I don’t come here for Jim Haywood or your comments TYVM.

        Bullet point #2, above the comment form, reads:

        Criticize ideas, not people

        Do we need to make this more obvious, do you think?

      2. Ian

        I like Jim Haygood. Think he brings a valuable perspective that I have absorbed much from and I hope he is not one of the ones that is for whatever reason, no longer commenting. Just a counter balance.

        1. Propertius

          Likewise. I have certainly disagreed with a lot of what Haygood has written, but if you don’t listen to people you disagree with, how will you ever learn anything?

          1. Ian

            Yes, clarification, the counter-balance comment was in regards to the comments purpose itself and not Jim Haygood himself. Though I fully agree with what you’ve said.

    1. Lord Koos

      I doubt most here would agree with that. I’ve received much knowledge from the comments here & I’m very happy to see them back.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > Who needs to read other people’s opinions or faith?

      If you don’t, don’t. For my part, I both need and enjoy the opinions of others. (Need, especially, because as a sort of politial analyst manqué I really do need to know what people’s opinions are, and how they express them. This is such an enormous country.

        1. AnnieB

          “link is the diving board and comments are the pool” Great comment! I so agree. In addition I have looked forward to the comment section as a place of sanity in the very messy world. Many of the comments add further analysis, links, information that has added greatly to my understanding of various topics. Kudos to NC for making the huge effort to maintain this intelligent resource. I totally agree with the circuit breaker strategy as well as comment vacations. Yves and Lambert, you will take this site to new levels of excellence!

      1. bbj

        Yes, …”an enormous country” throwing its weight around on this interconnected, interdependent, small, beautiful and vulnerable planet. Reading NC and comments is a daily reminder that the people of the USA is greater and in many (most?) ways better than most of those climbing/descending ladders to power in DC. Enlightening! Thanks!

    3. jrs

      well reading analysis is how many of us form our understanding of the world, data by itself isn’t enough. Yes of course raw facts matter though they can be found many places, and yes of course if one is entirely wrong on the facts their analysis isn’t worth much, and yes of course not all opinions are equally valuable. But it’s still pretty important for some of us. And a lot of people who aren’t talking heads have good perspectives to add.

      1. clinical wasteman

        Thanks jrs for pointing out the implication there. I took “who needs to read others’ opinions?” for some sort of extravagant intellectual self-denial, but “all you need is data” is a much scarier proposal, and it could be seen as built in. (Apologies to the earlier commenter if the former was actually the intention).
        The excellent point about algorithms in the link from Yves not long ago can be extended — carefully, because the argument about algorithms was specific — to data at large: what you see or hear is always opinion opinion to some unspecified degree, regardless of whether it comes across as scientific or fanciful, or whether it reaches you in written, graphic, digital or conversational form. Because there’s no non-social way to see or hear/write or speak it. It always reflects a whole series of conscious and unconscious decisions by at least two people, usually many more.
        Nohow does this mean something nihilistic like “reality is not real”: it’s as real as “mental, moral and physical pain” (thanks again, Samuel Beckett), and a defining characteristic of that reality is that it’s never perfectly intelligible, unless you happen to belong to one of the higher orders of angels.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Great to have comments back!

    I would very much second Greg C’s comment. I think regular time outs would be a healthy thing for everyone, especially when things get heated. Certainly, my work productivity significantly increased when comments were off…

      1. H. Alexander Ivey

        I’m glad the postings are back. I like the suggestions of posting holidays (we are suppose to spend time with our loved ones and family over Christmas, not posting at NC :-)).

        But I like that they are back, ‘cos I spend more time on the site, reading away. And the more time we spend staring at something, the more we can learn from it.

        Thanks again.

  5. Arizona Slim

    Glad to see that the commentariat is back in action. Oh, one more thing: Let’s have more meetups. I volunteer to host one in Tucson.

  6. Dan

    Thanks. I’m in the camp that likes the comments, but I understand why you took the action you did. I rarely comment but I do read them, and I saw how they were becoming less useful/informative and more soap-boxy and rude.

    Good luck with the new approach. Hope it works out.

    Now if you could just get the morning links posted by 4 a.m. eastern when I’m rising, I’d appreciate it. ;)

    1. Lambert Strether

      > if you could just get the morning links posted by 4 a.m. eastern

      We can’t commit to that because of our posting schedule. Sorry!

      Anyhow, some of us will be shoveling (snow, I hasten to add) at that time :-)

    2. LifelongLib

      Living in Hawaii I have the opposite problem — when I get up at 5 AM it’s already 10 or 11 on the east coast, and I very often miss the bulk of the Links discussion. Still worth reading though.

      1. Webstir

        Yeah, we of the left coast have gotta get up pretty early in the morning to hit it fresh.

        Ever think about a west coast affiliate, Lambert?

  7. Kurt Sperry

    Great news. It wasn’t just an NC thing, it seems like the whole English language internet between Trump and Brexit had kind of lost its mind. I feel the temperature dropping back closer to “normal” thankfully. May it persist.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Yes, the zeitgeist was a big part of this. (I do think, though, that the gaslighting was very real, and many factions engaged in it. So it’s an item of interest that the cray cray has died down*. “It’s quiet, too quiet.”)

      * I wonder what a metric for the cray cray might be.

      1. Foppe

        It may be the natural disasters. Or Trump has learned a lesson that he has little to gain from this, and so has decided to tamp down, while the Dems+MSM have too, for whatever reason (worth pondering). Or, most worryingly of all, the generals that he has surrounded himself with have taken him hostage (either literally or by controlling the information flow, and physical access, to/from Trump).

        1. Foppe

          (More positively, it may be that it’s finally sinking in that the hack lost because she was a hack, and that this makes no sense. Hillz digging her own grave, etc. But that’s probably just me being hopeful.)

  8. ChiGal in Carolina

    Thanks for explaining. It is good to know “what happened.”

    What an excellent idea to have a comments vacay twice a year and so glad you are in a position to add Jules to the team. It is clear how much you value and are committed to a strong comments section.

    I will be putting the proverbial check in the mail in support of all you do. As ever, a thousand thanks!

  9. rn

    Thank you for reopening the comments.
    I have a few suggestions for your consideration.
    (1) Upper limit on the no. of comments . Only the first 20 (or 50 or some other no) comments will be allowed. on some selected posts.
    (2) No comments will be allowed on selected posts.
    (3) 5 or 6 moderators, each one specializing on different topics – one moderator for china related post, another moderator for healthcare. Another one for europe / brexit etc .
    Good luck with moderating

  10. JCC

    Many who visit your site add a lot that is worth reading, so it’s nice to see the Comments Section back, even if it means I spend more time than I can afford reading through all of them.

    Additionally, your Comment Policies are more than reasonable and well worth reading (I particularly like the “throw a drink in your host’s face” analogy – well put) but I do have one question… What exactly is meant by “jailbreaking”? I’m not familiar with that term in this context.

      1. dcrane

        Was just about to ask the same question about jailbreaking (and nearly asked it last year when I first began reading NC).

        This one I am more embarrassed to ask: What aspect of “forum” is meant by “Naked Capitalism is not a chat board or a forum”? Maybe the second of the two definitions below?


        1. a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

        2. [North American] a court or tribunal.

        1. Oregoncharles

          I assume by “forum” they mean unmoderated. Tends to get nasty quickly, not a good reflection on human nature.

  11. The Rev Kev

    Great to see that comments are back but I think that most people here recognize that you guys simply need a break from reviewing the comments section from time to time. Nobody is really going to mind if you occasionally “chuck a sickie” and take time out too.
    I can only imagine some of the toxic comments that have come your way since last year. I suppose that due to what it looks at, Naked capitalism is on the front lines of all the mental angst of these times. The Policies page certainly sounds reasonable and clear.
    I had hoped that this was like a computer crash in that it would be taken back to when it last worked best. I too have missed the comments posted by other readers, especially when they revealed flaws in my ideas. And may I add a warm welcome to Jules – and my commiserations!

  12. schultzzz

    Thanks for bringing comments back. I totally understand why you needed a break. It’s crazy that grownups (like us commenters) have to be reminded that comments can be more than just snark; they can potentially include information, even new information.

  13. UserFriendly

    WoooHooo Comments!!!!!
    There were a couple great posts that got me so mad that I couldn’t comment on. I completely understand why though.

  14. Down2Long

    I have been reading NC for almost ten years. It got me through some very tough times in 2008-2011 when I went through a Chapter 11 as a small real estate investor. Yves and Lambert were two of the few people who understood and covered the lawlessness of the banking sector and our so-called justice system. Despite “doing everything (he) is supposed to do in Chapter 11” as my first judge put it, the outcomes (including a second judge allowing CHASE to foreclose on a paid up mortgage they got for free from WaMu) were not optimal.

    What kept me going was that NC had my back – and continues to have my back – in a very real way.

    I cannot imagine the amount of time it takes to be tethered to a device to moderate comments, and for the sake of sanity of Yves, Lambert, and Ms. Linn-Scofield (sp?) I utterly respect any decision you make regarding comments.

    That being said, the commentariat here is generally so high caliber that every day I learned one or two things new from the comments section. I did miss it. But the most important thing is that NC carries on in a way that makes most sense for Yves, Lambert, and Jerri.

    I don’t comment much anymore. I am – nearly ten years on – in shell shock about the corporate perfidy that has taken over America. After 40 years of marching for gay and minority rights, AIDS funding, fighting for immigrant rights, and being a housing provider in Los Angeles (where the City treats you like a bacteria that must be destroyed) I have thrown in the towel for awhile. My best friend died suddenly, just as her life was finally getting easier, and I am resolved now to savor every day, in honor of her and so many friends I lost to AIDS in New York and San Francisco.

    Yves and Lambert, I will be eternally grateful to you two. Do what you have to do keep your sanity and don’t forget to have fun. Thank you, thank you.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      …including a second judge allowing CHASE to foreclose on a paid up mortgage they got for free from WaMu…

      Funny, because when I worked for WAMU, I would get complaints that WAMU was trying to foreclose on paid up mortgages they’d acquired from the companies they bought up when they were going through an expansion phase.

      Hopefully you will get some justice one of these days.

      And thank you to Yves, Lambert and everyone else who make this a great website and an oasis of sanity.

    2. perpetualWAR

      I would like to second this entire post.

      I have struggled with fighting the banksters for almost a decade. Not a day goes by for which I am not grateful for forums such as NC. It not only helped me through the initial shock that I was a victim of a massively large crime spree, but that there were others sharing this horrible journey along with me. Made me feel less alone.

      Thanks to Yves, her book “Econned,” and all the commenters who helped me through with words of encouragement.

  15. justanotherprogressive

    I will read NC whether or not there is a comment section because of the quality of the thought and writing by Yves, Lambert, Jerri-Lynn, Clive and others. But like everyone else I too am glad the comment section is back. I don’t want to sound “elite” but there are few places online where I can find the kind of intelligence, creativity, and clarity of thought that so many of the posters here have. I’m so glad there is a place for them to “talk”. They seem to be drowned out almost everywhere else……

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      What s/he said.
      I’m looking forward to learning again from commenters whose names I’ve come to respect the past 7+ years.

      Finally, I have great respect for the way that Yves, Lambert, and NC went about restoring order.

  16. Sacbaker

    NC is the first email l select each morning and enjoy the site.
    This is my first comment although I have been reading NC for a while.
    Could we reduce the number of entries about Hillary Clinton. She lost the election and I would think some of us are fed up with the continued focus on her. There are more important articles that could be placed on this site that are more relevant in our struggle.
    My apologies to those who have linked Hillary articles.

    1. Lambert Strether

      The issue isn’t so much Clinton as a person but the institutional crack-up? re-alignment? of the Democrat party (“politics and power” as the motto says).

      Unfortunately, the institutional issues tend to be refracted through persons. So try to read through the stories to the bigger picture.

  17. Matthew G. Saroff

    If WordPress requires that one be a site admin to moderate comments, perhaps you should move to either a different content management system, or a 3rd party commenting system.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Change the whole layout of the site, port the entire comment history to a new format, all so that the rules on who can moderate comments can be slightly modified? Seriously?

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        Actually, it’s an either/or thing: Either drop WP, or go with a 3rd party commenting system.

        Clearly the latter is easier, since 3rd party commenting systems tend to have import systems.

        The problem is that 3rd party commenting systems are also data roach motels, where once you check in, you can never check out.

        Dropping WP to change commenting purpose is using a flame thrower as a fly swatter.

        Dropping WP for other reasons (a lot of back and forth on /. about security issues) is a completely different issue.

          1. Matthew G. Saroff

            I understand, that is part of my aforementioned “roach motel” comment.

            There are some open source systems that could be accommodated on the NC servers, but still it is a PITA.

            Basically, the conditions for a best alternate commenting system is:

            * Moderators do not need admin access.
            * All data remains under the control of NC.
            * Open source.
            * A number of people (probably somewhere 3 and 10) people willing to install and maintain the system (not necessarily mods) who are not named Lamberth, Yves, etc.
            * A not completely horrible user interface.

            It is a non-trivial thing, but doable.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          1. We have looked at all the other third party comments services many times. They suck. We’ve seen sites move that have moved to them have their number and quality fall. Readers have even begged us not to go to services like Disqus for that very reason.

          2. We have invested a lot in customizing the comments section so that the gap between what we have and what third party services offer is even wider than #1 indicates

          3. If we hand off our comments to a third party, they will turn over any information on a reader in the event of a legal inquiry. We would fight.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Count me in as a “please not Disqus” beggar. The “gap” between the exceptional & exceptionally labor-intensive comments section here and any of those automata is something close to an obscenely gaping maw.
            The F*cebook-style sign-up procedure on Disqus et al, combined with incessant nudging to comment “via” some such 4th party, is enough to dissuade many people who might be worth hearing from. The discovery that this effectively means signing up to every Disqus-managed site at once is even less pleasant, and the implicit threat of being moderated (or as an editor, having you readers’ comments edited) according to standardized criteria supposedly applicable to all those sites is just too much. (Sorry to bring this up yet again, but: algorithms are opinions.)
            If the comments across all kinds of Disquses(?) turn out to look much the same, the ease with which energetic bores can pick up on one site from where they left off on another — with or without attention to site content or other comments — may have something to do with it.
            I appreciate that the suggestions were in good faith, but one way of looking at it is: would you rather entrust your writing to editors you respect & admire, or to a FICO-type procedure?

            Plus (almost forgot): “click to edit” is a wonderful thing, though apparently unloved by designers of robots.

          2. vlade

            As the longest serving commenter on this blog (2007 I think? Hey, I a decade!), one thing that kept me here was that you avoided Disqus and similar. In fact, NC is now, with the FTA (which has in-house registration for comments) the one of only two sites I comment on with any sort of regularity.

            As an aside – many thanks for taking the effort to bring the comments back. Please kick off another fundraiser :)

    2. Arizona Slim

      10-year user of WordPress here. Having administrator privileges for comment moderation is the way to go. It’s a big responsibility.

  18. XXYY

    I join everyone above in welcoming Naked Capitalism’s comments back. I was somewhat shocked, in their absence, to find how much they had added to my enjoyment of the site and to its value. There’s a difference between a blog and a community, and NC had achieved the improbable feat of building the latter through the conscientious work of everyone involved.

    Hopefully we can all begin rebuilding that community again.

  19. marieann

    I am so glad to see the comments back. This community on NC have really helped me expand my understanding of the issues of today.

  20. Tony Levelle

    Good to see comments back. I read them for perspective and alternate views. (Don’t always agree with comments, which is good.)

    I appreciate the huge time-sink that moderating comments requires. And the thick skin. Crocodiles have nothing on moderators…

    Keep up the good work.

  21. clinical wasteman

    Why, thank you!
    (Stage direction here: “HAPPY SMILE”, as when Samuel Beckett’s Krapp gets to repeat the word, “Spoooooool”.)
    And welcome, Jules.
    Just seeing the names PlutoniumKun, Chi-Gal and Arizona Slim appear on the screen in quick succession was more than enough to make my meager day.
    I hope a crushing majority of the last few weeks’ private messages said something along the lines of: unqualified support for what ever you (pl.) decide, no explanation — & definitely no apology! — needed. Along with collective regret for all previous displays of sore psychic boils.
    I’d also definitely second the hope expressed above (sorry no attribution, can’t find it now) for more posts by Outis, if the onslaught of moderation(!) allows. The Foucault serial and that Pasolini-haunted exchange on the Italian Communist Party were particular highlights.
    Another such highlight was your brilliant piece, Yves, on Equifax and securitization, just yesterday or the day before. Many many thanks for that. My mind is still reeling at a) personal credit rating on an automatic/”opt-out” basis in the US, and b) the near-ubiquity the standardized RICO model and its exclusion of the small matter of income. Once those things were explained, the analogy with subprime securitization after anti-redlining legislation leaped out.

    1. witters

      But Crow, you sustain the universe itself!

      When God, disgusted with man,
      Turned towards heaven.
      And man, disgusted with God,
      Turned towards Eve,
      Things looked like falling apart.

      But Crow . . Crow
      Crow nailed them together,
      Nailing Heaven and earth together –

      (Ted Hughes, “Crow blacker than ever”)

  22. Annotherone

    Ahhh – commenting is open again at NC – an announcement to gladden the heart! Thank you to all involved!
    There’s nowhere else on the net, even so-called “lefty” websites, where I can bear to read comments for more than a few minutes without BP rising with impending head explosion. Comments can add so much to understanding, overall . They force me to read articles more carefully- go back take another look, and think a little more deeply.

    Welcome back y’all!

  23. Dale

    Thank you for turning comments back on. The articles-yours and the linked to-and the comments have become very important to me. I scrolled down for comments every time…such a habit.

  24. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    I have been feeling a little like old Mother Hubbard, although of course the cupboard was not completely bare. I realised that this is because for the most part I tend to scan the links, & then read through the comments in order to find feedback, which provides an insight into the article. This does not always apply, especially for those links which are labelled as a must read, or if I know the site & the subject is one which I am particularly interested in – I also realised that I had taken this special place for granted.

    At the moment I am just about making ends meet, as I am spending half of my time working on a project that is unpaid & actually costs me money. If it works out & my situation returns to normal, I would then like to make my gratitude obvious in financial terms, till then I shall if the need arises, count to ten & then behave myself in a kind of ” If you can keep your head……..” sort of way, which to my mind is probably a good policy decision, in the light of the increasing insanity

    Thank you all.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Thank you Lambert – It is a necessary adjustment to economic reality, but also a labour of love which helps greatly in negotiating the long hours. I am hopefully nearing the end of the initial hard part of getting the ball rolling.

  25. Joel

    Thank you for all your hard work.

    >>WordPress requires that someone who moderates comments must also be a site administrator.

    There are plugins for that (assuming you’re not hosting on wordpress.com, in which case, they probably have some solutions for this of their own).

    Also, there are “comment flagging” plugins, and you could easily allow only moderators to flag comments (I can see why you wouldn’t want the whole world flagging comments) rather than actually taking them down, just use the flagging as an early warning system to take some of the load off the admins.

  26. ShamanicFallout

    So glad to see the comments coming back online. They really do add so much. I’ll be sending in a small contribution to support the effort. Thanks for all the great work

  27. shinola

    Glad to see comments back on. Can’t blame y’all one bit for taking a time out. One upside to it was that I did read more articles in the daily Links & Watercooler.

  28. Tom Stone

    When both NC and Calculated Risk found it necessary to eliminate comments the public sphere was diminished, I am glad to see them back.
    Was legalized Marijuana a factor in Jules’s agreeing to take on the job of moderating comments?

  29. Craig H.

    Yves you and the crew are troopers and some days Naked Capitalism provides the only fresh air on the entire internet. Hope the comments off comments on episode was not too much of a hassle for you.

    The worst part for me was having to do image search when there was a great antidote I didn’t recognize. :)

    1. Anon

      Often, if you right-click the image (in Windows) a pop-up may reveal info about the picture. Sometimes it answers questions that you would normally find answered in the Comments section.

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Thank you.

    (Never stop hoping, here, or when surviving a hurricane or being marooned on a lonely planet).

  31. Bugs Bunny

    I love the comments and enjoy contributing when I have something useful to share here.

    That said, the break was good for me to reflect and think about why I might write something here. I think sometimes everyone gets in a keyed up reactionary mode during a crisis and we tend to be too quick to speak before thinking of consequences of our words.

    I really sincerely hope things don’t go off the cliff again and that the misogyny and character attacks are forever gone from this site.

  32. Jonathan Holland Becnel





  33. DonCoyote

    Welcome Jules, and good luck (and to Outis as well). I just stoked the tip jar a bit.

    NC is the only site I read where the signal to noise ratio in the comments is liveable (and that doesn’t even take into account how insightful some of them are), and yes, that doesn’t just “happen”.

    While I recognize there is a fine line between fearless and feckless/foolhardy, and I am not advocating a move toward the latter, NC feels a little more fearless with comments open.

    So well done.

  34. hemeantwell

    Wonderful news! I hadn’t emailed since I figured you were already busy with other regulars, but not having the community available completely drained out online life for me. So pleased!

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      The basic issue is that while software can and does help, there still has to be a human backstopping the process. In order to obtain literal 24/7 comment coverage, then there would need to be a rotation of trusted people looking at comments 168 hours/week. That isn’t a trivial time commitment to assemble.

  35. Ernesto Lyon

    Glad to see comments back!

    FWIW, I’ve noticed that other sites I read have been having problems with influxes of
    shill and bot comments since the election heated up. These attacks seem to be aimed
    at discussion that diverges from the MSM approved consensus. The tactics are direct
    attacks on posts and “slide” diversion attacks which destroy discussions by filling
    them with irrelevancy.

    Given that NC doesn’t follow the conventional MSM playbook I wouldn’t be surprised
    if this was happening here too.

  36. random person

    thank you for reopening comments. i often find peoples’ comments more insightful than manny cross-posts.

  37. John D.

    Nice to see the comments section back. My thanks to Lambert, Yves, et al for their efforts. I’m a relative newcomer here, and it’s good to have a discussion space that goes beyond knee-jerk toadying to the status quo, mainstream version of “liberalism.”

    My first ever online place to hang out was the forums Michael Moore provided at his website some years back. It was a fun place, with a spirited group of regulars, but it eventually attracted too many trolls. These were a particularly disruptive breed, and in the end, they made the place unusable for the rest of us. Moore either couldn’t or wouldn’t reign the bastards in, and they ended up destroying his forum. I’m sure the rest of you have seen similar situations unfold over the years. There’s an obvious lesson there, wouldn’t y’all say?

    1. Bukko Boomeranger

      My analysis is that Gresham’s Law (“bad money drives out the good”) applies to comments as well as coinage. (And lots of other areas where good things are chased away by bad ones, like the clientele in bars.) If there’s too much garbage, anyone who’s not a rat will flee. ZeroHedge is an example. There used to be some intelligent voices in comments there that would expand my knowledge of the Tylerposts. But it has devolved into a “Jews are secretly manipulating everything” and “let’s kill everyone in the government” psychofest over the past few years. Similar to what you mentioned with Michael Moore, comment sections on newspaper websites have degenerated so badly that some publications have eliminated them entirely, prevent comments on stories involving crazy-button topics such as race relations or crime, or moderate them heavily a la the New York Times. During the U.S. presidential election in 2016, I read a few articles online about how “crapflooding” was a deliberate disinformation tactic by Russian troll farms. The aim was not to push any particular opinion line, but to muddy the comment waters so dirtily that they became useless as a mechanism for the citizenry to discuss ANY public issue. If the people cannot talk, the rulers can go about their business with one less check to balance them.

      1. witters

        “During the U.S. presidential election in 2016, I read a few articles online about how “crapflooding” was a deliberate disinformation tactic by Russian troll farms. The aim was not to push any particular opinion line, but to muddy the comment waters so dirtily that they became useless as a mechanism for the citizenry to discuss ANY public issue. If the people cannot talk, the rulers can go about their business with one less check to balance them.”

        So let me work this through: you “read a few articles onlline about how” through “crapflooding”, “the Russians used troll farms to destroy US political discourse, so “the rulers can go about their business with one less check to balance them.” Which means the Russians were working bipartisanly for the Repo-Dem Team Elites?

  38. Lee

    Especially since the crash, I came to understand and personally feel the negative power of big finance. I came to this site at that time by way of it often being linked by certain folks then posting at Daily Kos before it became completely detestable. Since my understanding of finance is rather rudimentary, the comments section helped me to better grasp the content of many of the more erudite posts at this site. I am glad they are back and hope they remain as civil and enlightening as they in the main have been.

    Glad to hear about taking holidays. It’s hard to trust compulsive busy bees who do not appreciate the restorative value of rest and goofing off. Cheers, one and all.

  39. TK421

    I’m glad to see this. I haven’t always commented as well as I could or should, and will try to do better.

  40. dbk

    Thank you for restoring comments, I learn a great deal both in terms of actual facts and in terms of people’s attitudes from reading them faithfully.

    I too realized how much they complement and enrich the posts once they were turned off, and suffered what I can only term “withdrawal symptoms.”

    In the meantime, I resorted to other sites for comments, and can’t say I sense things have calmed down much. But perhaps that’s because I’m ranging further in both directions these days.

  41. EyeRound

    So glad to see comments back! Thank you. I missed the comments but the “upside” of their temporary removal is that I now have a much better understanding of how much time and work–emotional and intellectual–goes in to moderating a site like this one.

    All best wishes and good vibes to the excellent NC team going forward!

  42. MichaelSF

    I find the comments very informative, but I’m also aware of how much aggro it can be to ride herd on them. Please do whatever it takes to keep the site (a valuable resource for many) up and going, and if that means curtailing someone’s non-existent right to “free speech” in the comments so be it.

    I’d suggest that you add a quarterly (or more frequent) weekend break in comments to your semi-annual week off. Perhaps you might take alternate weekends off so that there is still some opportunity to comment on the site but someone is getting a bit of respite. All work and no play . . .

    More frequent rests for you will help keep your outlook more positive and most people shouldn’t have problems finding something to help fill their time over a couple of days of no/restricted comments now and then.

    1. XXYY

      I suggest taking every weekend off!

      This schedule was established for us by our union brothers and sisters over a century ago. The country has generally been going strong ever since.

  43. Jon Claerbout

    Artificial intelligence or machine learning? Perhaps these will find a way of tossing out or suppressing uninformed comments. My advice for Yves, is to archive the comments she/they deletes. That data-base could be helpful.

    The website “slashdot” has an interesting machine learning approach. It gets a huge volume of comments that become ranked by a huge number of readers.

    1. Optic7

      I don’t believe Slashdot’s moderation system involves any machine learning or AI. It’s been around a long time, and it just involves peer moderation, but with a few twists rather than allowing anyone to vote comments up and down all the time (like Reddit).

      Read about it here: https://slashdot.org/moderation.shtml

      It’s a very interesting system, and I think it’s the second-best system of moderation, after centralized moderation like Naked Capitalism uses, in terms of promoting higher quality posts. It’s far from perfect in terms of achieving those results, but for the volume of stories and comments that Slashdot handles, it’s probably the best system yet.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I think the reason it works at Slashdot is that they have a pretty cohesive bunch.

        And my impression is that they have a lot of moderators, but they must all be chosen somehow.

  44. Michael Fiorillo

    Da best just got bettah (again) !

    I’ve always assumed the comments section was assertively moderated, otherwise it would resemble what we see almost everywhere else: trolling, red herrings and all-around stoopit behavior.

    There’s so much knowledge and wisdom among the NC readership, so I really missed the Comments section, and am much glad to have it back.

    Be strict if you must, Yves,Llambert, Jerri-Lynn, et. al.; the site and the knowledge of its readers is too precious to lose.

  45. Elizabeth

    It’s so good to see the comments again! I’ve been a faithful reader, and have learned so much from your posts AND the comments. Thank you all, Yves, Lambert, Jerri-Lynn, Outis, and Jules. The blogosphere hasn’t been the same without comments.

  46. CraaaaaazyChris

    Yay, comments are back!

    And on the subject of commenting systems, I thought of y’all yesterday when I ran across this blog article about a collaboration between Mozilla and WAPO to develop an “open-source commenting platform”. Among the listed features: “you own your data” (i.e. you host it on your server).

    1. lambert strethet

      I tested this software. While the project is well-intentioned, it’s much too demanding to install and run for a small operation like ours. We are taking some of its ideas — the bullet points at the top of the comments box, for example — and adapting them. And there’s also the issue of porting our million or so threaded comments to a new storage system.

    2. Octopii

      I’ve read WaPo articles with the Coral commenting system, and I’ve also written scathing critiques of it on their feedback page. Open-source does not mean good. In terms of UX it is not nearly in the same class as the regular WaPo commenting system. There’s an interesting article on the Post’s IT systems that I think was posted here within the past week or two, and it discussed Bezo’s strong influence on the IT side of the Post. If one is looking for news that influence isn’t so great, but if one is looking for a “product” with maximum monetization and engagement it seems to be working well. But Coral as an alternate commenting system still isn’t up to par.

  47. Kim Kaufman

    The comments on the Islam finance post shows why comments are so valuable: lots of super links and comments to add to the information. Thank you!

    I notice Yves has been writing more since comments were closed. I hope comments don’t become a burden again.

  48. leapfrog

    I’m glad the comments are back. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t express my appreciation for the recent Bill Black article. I’m such a fan of Professor Black and his work. I also enjoy the Cal-PERS drama. Good work on that too! I would like to see more discussion on the healthcare debacle too. Thank you again for all that you do, writers at NC.

  49. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    Welcome, Jules, and welcome back, NC Comments!

    I think in a good year I post two or three comments – but it’s nice to know I’ll be able to scratch that itch when it comes up again.

    Ya gotta have that occasional two cents from a resident ammosexual, right?

    Thanks for bringing Comments back, Yves and Lambert. Hopefully I don’t singlehandedly make Jules regret being added to the team…. :)

  50. leapfrog

    P.S. Hate to ask, but could you run something on the Equifax insider trading scandal and the fallout/heavy-handed way Equifax plans to treat their products (us)?

  51. annenigma

    You had to moderate every one of these ‘thank you’ comments? Maybe a Recommend option for the comment section would save you some time when so many people just want to strongly agree but not add anything special.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      No, not all comments are moderated. Without getting into all the details, there is a screening process that inevitably catches some comments that don’t need to be moderated. This adds to the amount of work. But some comments are approved without being moderated by a human.

    2. Jeff W

      Maybe a Recommend option for the comment section…when…people just want to strongly agree but not add anything special.

      I often wish there was some option like that, also (…like, um, now?).

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        That isn’t the sort of comment section we want.

        When people can upvote comments, then it creates an atmosphere where commenters play more to an audience – where they look at things like how many upvotes a comment has before deciding whether or not they agree with it, and use this information to decide whether it might be risky to disagree with popular comments. We would like for comments to stand or fall on their own merits, not on whether or not they are in tune with a crowd.

        1. B1whois

          Lol. But seriously, thanks for that explanation.

          WELCOME BACK, the comments section was SORELY MISSED. Woohoo!

          Also, I just wanted to say that I had noticed a slippage in the quality of comments here in the last month or so. Comments that just really didn’t add anything to the discussion, comments that were unserious and or overly Bland. Like people were just playing around instead of participating in a thoughtful conversation. So I’m glad it’s back, but I’m also glad that it’s been reoriented to its former high quality.
          I value this comment section so very much, but it has had the unfortunate effect of making me far less patient with commenters on Facebook. Reading comments here has given me a really high standard for what conversations should be like. Thank you for that, as well as supplying the location for this wonderful community of very smart and informed people to gather and discuss the news of the day. It really is an amazing contribution to our topsy-turvy Society

        2. clinical wasteman

          Stimmt! The merits of a comment or any other utterance are almost always way too eccentric to measure or grade. Which is also why the Slashdot method — comments ranked by large numbers of users — sounds alarming (although I realize suggested constructively).
          When much of what you want to read/hear/see dwells in the Margin for Error, a timeline gives you more chance of finding it than you’d ever have by trying to second-guess relative “popularity”.
          Competitive conformism may also benefit in that system from a sort of feedback loop, whereby those people who care a lot about rankings are the same ones likely to do most of the ranking, and also, perhaps, likely to rank expressions of competitive conformist sentiment highly.
          I see the point about Slashdot having too much traffic to manage hands-on, but maybe that’s simply too much traffic? How ‘general’ can interest get before it becomes mostly trivial?

  52. Montanamaven

    It is here at NC that I learned in the comments section of Christopher Lasch and the book “Revolt of the Elites”. So thank you for bringing back the comments section. Naked Capitalism is what Ray Oldenberger (who Lasch admires) calls “A Great Good Place.” It is a place of conviviality, conversation, and where the art of argument has been revived. Lasch says that “we do not know what we need to know until we ask the right questions and we can identify the right questions only by subjecting our own ideas about the world to the test of public controversy.” Lasch talks about Richard Rorty’s world where his people retreat to their private clubs after a “hard day of haggling at the bazaar”. But Lasch wants none of that. He wants the neighborhood gathering place where “everybody knows your name” and everybody is on equal footing. Here I can read some articles and find a place to ask questions about them. I was kind of lost without this family, but like others I did get a lot more other stuff done.

  53. Jeff W

    Welcome, Jules, and best of luck to you and Outis in moderating.

    Jules took on a role at McKinsey that regularly involved telling associates and managers that they hadn’t thought through a problem well…

    That’s a really important, under-appreciated (and often risky) role.

    The bullet points above the comment input box are a really good idea. Sometimes, some of the most effective behavioral strategies are actually the simplest.

  54. ChrisPacific

    Thank you. I’m glad you found a way to bring them back. I think the circuit breaker/comments holiday from time to time is a good idea and I had been thinking of suggesting that.

    I used the extra time for a bit of introspection and have realized that I am occasionally in violation of the comments policies myself. My biggest sins are typically not reading the material properly before commenting, and treating the comments section as a Reddit/Facebook type environment. (While I think the removal of comments was mostly negative, one positive result was that I did tend to read the posts themselves more thoroughly). I do skip videos sometimes as they can be tricky to watch, but that can be problematic in cases where they are a key part of the story, as in the case of Charlottesville for example. So I will try to err on the side of caution from now on, and not post unless I am making a genuine contribution to the discussion.

    Regarding your ads policy, I understand that they are financially necessary, but I also sympathize with people who prefer an ad-free reading experience, provided they understand that it comes at a cost. There are also some corporate networks that will block them automatically due to privacy/tracking concerns. Perhaps there could be a recommended monthly or annual donation for people who would like an ad-free experience and are willing to pay for the privilege? So for example, if you donate $X per year over and above any annual fundraiser donation then you don’t need to feel guilty about blocking ads. A good starting point for X might be your annual ad revenue divided by the number of donors in the last fundraiser. That would provide a path for people to opt out of ads without quitting NC entirely if they felt it was worth the cost.

  55. knowbuddhau

    Welcome back, and welcome, Jules! Best news I’ve heard in a while. Seemed preternaturally quiet, to read an article and not hear any discussion.

    And it’s the discussion here that I find invaluable. I don’t know what to make of, frankly, most of the finance and economics articles. I rely on the back and forth, the deep insights from decades of experience, for critical context.

    I also appreciate that I find here views and beliefs not my own. If it wasn’t for what I disagree with, how could I know what I do agree with? It’d all be just a bunch of self-referential self-confirmation. We got the MSM and the rest of the Intertoobs for that. Here’s to those who know opposition doesn’t necessarily equal existential threat.

    Thanks again. Glad you got some time off. I bow in all y’all’s virtual directions.

  56. BiteCoin

    I have been a visitor and a reader for a number of years; also have enjoyed reading most of the commentary herein, and on this august day am signing up, mostly in order to pay respect to:

    a) Yves’ hard work and, frankly, public service over the years.

    b) the decision to shut down and subsequently re-start comments.

    Congrats – here’s to an even better experience going forward. We need quality writing and editing about our hyper-financialized world more than ever.

  57. Sutter Cane

    Usually, I read all the comments before adding my own, as often I find another has already stated (and more eloquently, too) whatever sentiment I was going to express. However, though this has no doubt already been stated numerous times by others, I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus saying

    1.) I am glad that comments have returned, because I found them frequently insightful and interesting, and had found myself not lingering as long on the site with them turned off, and

    2.) I totally understand the need to turn them off, and appreciate all the work that goes on behind the scenes at NC to maintain such a high level of discourse.

    I’m glad that comments are back, and I hope that the commentariat has shed a number of the low-quality contributors while they were turned off, and that the ones who remain are suitably chastened enough to allow the better angels of their nature to inform their future comments.

  58. Oregoncharles

    Thanks. I hoped you’d be bringing comments back somehow, as several features of the site imply them.

    NC is a remarkable achievement; so is a useful, civil comment section. I recommend this site to anyone I think might be interested.

    One thing I noticed: without comments, there was a lot less material, so I spent much less time here. That had advantages; I need to be more disciplined in my internet habits. For one thing, it’s harvest season. OTOH, helping correct typos was more difficult.

    In future, it might be helpful for our hosts to announce when they’re going on vacation; I think most of us would have the courtesy to avoid emailing them then. I mostly use the “blogger” address, but there are exceptions. Of course, readers are not the only ones emailing.

    And finally: it’s way beyond my pay grade, but I keep seeing hints that you’ve outgrown WordPress; the wages of success. I assume that changing your platform would be a forbidding task, but…

  59. oh

    Thanks for the antidote du jour yesterday with the two cobras attending class. Looks like they were attentive students.

  60. Sluggeaux

    The Internet can be an isolating and dehumanizing space, an echo-chamber full of shouters. The well-moderated Comments section of Naked Capitalism has been an important space for civil debate and the sharing of ideas and context in this age. I found it comforting that I wasn’t alone in my anger and frustration with the growing Orwellian opacity of so many of our social and political institutions. However, the 2016 elections in Britain and America seemed to up the frequency and amplitude of the cray-cray, reaching a bloody nadir in Charlottesville (Never Forget Heather Heyer). I privately shared my support of Yves’ decision to shut it down.

    Welcome Jules, and welcome back Outis! This is going to get better going forward — because I see that there really is a Sanity Clause!

        1. Bukko Boomeranger

          I DID read it! I was making a play on words by dropping a sly link to a song by the old punk band The Damned which had the lyrics “There ain’t no sanity clause.” But jokes lose their funny factor if I have to explain them.

          1. Sluggeaux

            What a coincidence! I have the same problem with having to explain my own sly references! Fortunately, Otis B Driftwood has been putting a Sanity Clause in every contract he’s drafted since 1935…

  61. Jen

    Thank you Yves! Thank you Lambert! Thank you Outis! Welcome Jules! And hello commentariate. I’ve missed you!

  62. oaf

    Thank you, N.C., for finding a way! Was much too quiet.Replace hate with debate.
    Oaf enjoys finding a high level of courtesy in comments here; and it is appreciated along with the high level of research, review, and substantiation, regularly demonstrated throughout these pages.

  63. Livius Drusus

    Glad to see comments are coming back. I am guilty of sometimes letting emotions get to me on comments sections so I understand the need for moderation. I have seen plenty of blogs and forums go to the dogs because of disruptive people who cannot be civil. Overall the Internet is not a good place to discuss things but NC is one of the very few places where intelligent and civil discussions are possible. I welcome both tight moderation of comments and comments holidays. The best thing you can do is take a break from the Internet sometimes, especially discussing controversial topics.

  64. Too Late For Nostalgia

    Thank You Yves and Lambert!
    Welcome Jules! Best wishes and please be patient with us.
    Me: First comment, long time lurker, big fan of NC. So intelligent compared to other sites.

  65. Jean

    I turned my ad-blocker off. I sent a check. Neither equals the worth of this site and this community to me. Thank you to everyone who has taught me something, and everyone whose turn of phrase was just exquisite.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks so much! We try to have less obtrusive ads (like no popups or autoplays) so hopefully you will find hte site to be tolerable. You ought to be able to whitelist NC as opposed to turning your adblocker off.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Ours, at least, makes it easy to whitelist a site (just click on the icon, and a list of actions pops up), so I did that for NC. And yes, your ads are very discreet – and occasionally pretty ironic. Well worth it.

        I hope your restart on comments goes well.

  66. Webstir

    Thank you NC gang. Haven’t been commenting much around here lately but I tune in twice daily. I missed reading the comments while they were gone b/c they’re a great way to gauge which way the progressive wind is blowing. I fully supported your decision though. To tell the truth, the reason I rarely comment around here is precisely the reason you shut down the comments. I backed off commenting early in the primaries. As a die hard progressive, once it was clear Bernie had been screwed I made the case for Clinton over Trump simply due to the legal repercussions. I’m a lawyer, who da thunk it? Got pilloried and turned my focus over to Ian Welsh since. But shit’s getting pretty crazy over there too these days. I wish your circuit breaker great success and I’ll do my best to behave.

  67. habenicht

    I’m glad this was resolved before the fundraiser. I always find it encouraging to see the value of the site validated by posters pledging a donation and then heap some praise on the merits of Naked Capitalism in the comments.

    …kinda like now

    Thanks for all your efforts!

  68. TheCatSaid

    I’m glad the comments are back. Might bots have been responsible for some of the problems the moderators mentioned? I’ve learned that disruptive bots are commonplace on many social media fora (Reddit, Twitter, 4chan, etc.).

  69. Inert_Bert

    Thank you Yves, this is great news!

    It was sad to see one of the last great public comment-spaces close down so I really appreciate you giving it (and us) another chance.

  70. Davet still in the Navy

    thanks for restoring the comment section. obviously you have a supportive following given all the comments listed here. while I try to limit, or since I try to limit my social media time, there might be some value to finding a way to bring the “best” comments to the top of the thread, like in the new york times, which lists “editors picks” and “users picks” in two separate columns. might be worth a try.

  71. Enrico Malatesta

    Thank you for restoring your comments. Your guidelines are reasonable and prudent – I will follow them here, and other sites also.

    I feel that my name is incendiary enough.

  72. Angie Neer

    The bullet list of comment rules is good. But I honestly don’t know what you mean by “flag” bad behavior. Is there a mechanism for “flagging,” or do you simply mean “point it out in a (presumably civil) reply”?

  73. Ari

    I think the arstechnia comment system is one of the finer user experiences for posters and readers. The visual layout is meh. Could benefit from the simplicity that exists here.

    I too adore the comments on NC. To a compulsive degree. But rarely post. So so happy they are back.

    I wish it would be easy to navigate to the ”hot” threads within a post’s comments.

    Thrilled either way.

  74. Edward E

    Hey great comments are back, awesome. Now I’ll be losing sleep again reading. Yves, you didn’t say anything about jokes? Just don’t have much time to right now, there are storms of freight to be moved and romancing takes any actual spare time I might get. I may not see Bonkersville, Arkiefornia until Christmas Eve the way it’s looking.

    Behind nearly every successful woman is her man ?, behind the fall of a successful woman is usually another man ? go hogs! No, don’t listen to me, it’s a long story.

  75. Charlie

    Thank you for opening the comments back up. At times, the links found in the comments are just as good as those found in the posted link sections.

Comments are closed.