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Columbia Missourian

DEAR READER: Results are in for the Missourian's comment moderation survey

By Shaina Cavazos
December 2, 2011 | 4:21 p.m. CST

Of the 102 people who took the time to answer Saturday's comment moderation questionnaire, many of whom never comment, 36 said they think the Missourian's comments section is overwhelmingly negative, often aggressive and discourages them from participating.

This is just the kind of feedback we were looking for.

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The goal of the questionnaire was to find out what Missourian readers think is acceptable and unacceptable as far as commenting practice and moderation. After going through pages and pages of responses, I compiled some general themes from the feedback and picked out a few figures that stood out.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of information we were hoping to receive. The better we can get to know our audience, the better we can make sure we are moderating effectively.

Now that we've collected this data, what will we do?

The Missourian has already instituted a new strategy for moderating comments, whereby a commenter's first comment must be approved before he or she can continue to comment. So far, this has helped cut down on both spam comments and people trying to use fake or incomplete names.

Joy Mayer, our director of community outreach, and I have talked about some ways our team could respond to the feedback we've received. Our goal is to increase the civility of the conversation within the community and encourage more people to get involved.

Some ways the Missourian could help:

Which, if any, of these options would you support? Are there more ways you'd like to see us interact in the forum?

If you are interested in the full results of the survey, you can find the image in the related media box. Look for the red numbers to see how many people selected each answer. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Shaina Cavazos is a member of the community outreach team and an Assistant City Editor at the Missourian. Feel free to take a look at her past work or follow her on Twitter @ShainaRC.