Nick Denton told people gathered at a South By Southwest event yesterday that Gawker Media is going to revamp its commenting system within the next few months. The plan? Give commenters — who Denton has never had much love for — more power. As All Things D notes, essentially the first person to comment on a post will then be able to moderate the thread that follows. There will also be multiple comment moderators and multiple comment threads. Oh, and no one is getting paid for this, they’ll just be happy to comment and wield their new (completely worthless in real life) power.
Denton wants to change the system at Gawker Media because he thinks most comments now are crap. Adweek reports that Denton claimed that for every two comments that are interesting, there are eight “toxic” ones and referred to it all as the “tragedy of the commons… or tragedy of the comments.”
It’s always been funny to think that Denton and other Gawker Media types have considered the sites to be a place where an enlightened conversation would happen. Let’s be honest: Gawker is a place for videos of people fighting in McDonald’s and dong shots. To think that sort of thing is going to bring out the best commenters is a bit ridiculous. Even The New York Times has stupid comments on its site. Time will tell if giving those same commenters more power will lead to even more comedy.