MoJo Goes Registration for Comments (Fortified with Numbers)

Kevin Drum reports on some changes at Mother JonesRaw Data: How Registration Affects Comments.

Two data points:  22% decrease in total comments and 45% decrease in comments needing deletion.


The other thing, however, that was key:  allowing people to login via Facebook or Twitter, as that makes “registration” painless.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. de stijl says:

    The other thing, however, that was key: allowing people to login via Facebook or Twitter, as that makes “registration” painless.

    To me, either of these options would be painful. I have zero desire to use FB or Twitter.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    de stijl,

    I agree. Facebook seems like forcing you to feign interest in other people’s trivia (while collective way too much personal data about you), while there is nothing written in 140 characters or less that holds my interest.

  3. Moosebreath says:

    Sorry — collecting, not collective

  4. The other problem is facebook requires you to use your real name, which is contrary to a basic principle of security on the internet.

  5. @de stijl: @Moosebreath: Just for clarification, I was noting not a requirement to use FB or Twitter just that allowing either as a means of logging in makes registration almost invisible.

  6. mattb says:

    I’m a fan of Disqus, which has a pretty seamless login, tracks comments across sites, AND still allows for a degree of anonymity that’s lacking with FB. Plus it integrates well with WordPress.

  7. @mattb: I tried Disqus at PoliBlog a few years ago and it just didn’t perform as promised (but perhaps that was something I did wrong).

  8. Andy says:

    Thumbs up here for disqus as well. Facebook? No way. Major security issues and I don’t want to spam my friends from all the commenting I do.

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Not interested in any of the above.
    But losing my commentary may be the easiest/fastest way to improve OTB.

  10. Just nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: That’s odd, I’m registered at Facebook as Lee L.Lee–and with a fake email address to boot. I only logged on to follow up on a link to a friend one time and have never used the account again, but just the same, ther system looke porous to my perspective.

  11. mattb says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Disqus has worked out a lot of earlier bugs and weirdness. Take a look at it’s implementation on the Atlantic for it (finally) working as promised.

  12. Moderate Mom says:

    I like Disquis too, but there is one big problem with it. If a comment thread goes on too long (multiple people responding to each other) each posting gets smaller and smaller, to a point that there are only a couple of words per line. Then, responses are impossible to read.