September 12, 2016 Last Updated 7:49 am

Lack of effective moderation killing the value of comments; platforms update iOS apps ahead of tomorrow’s release of iOS 10

Morning Brief: This weekend, Adobe and Tapas released app updates that mention iOS 10 compatibility, while other developers continue to fix bugs still appearing in iOS 9

The issue of reader comments divides journalists and publishers as much as politics. Viewers regarding what to do about trolling and abusive commenting are just as dogmatic. But while the industry discusses the right way to handle reader comments, the problem may be resolving itself in a way that won’t please publishers: readers are getting turned off by comment threads.

So far, at least, the evidence is circumstantial, I have yet to see a new survey on this, but more and more readers appear to be increasingly turned off by commenting.

78kLike entering a dark alley late at night, entering a comment thread – even at websites such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, is an unattractive enterprise. Why subject one’s self to such a collection of often mean-spirited, often phony comment trolls.

The problem, of course, is comment moderating. The New York Times has been generally seen as moderating comments with a fairly moderate touch. Its strategy has been to put all comments into moderation, and to release most of them, then shut off comments after a relatively short period of time. It resulted in a fairly civilized comment thread, but frustrated readers by often turning off commenting on a story too quickly, not allowing for any real conversation. Today, the moderating appears to be lighter, but threads are still shut off quickly. This results in absurd assertions left unaddressed.

The Washington Post, it appears to me, has used wide open commenting as a way to drive web traffic. With comments that appear instantly, a better conversation, in theory, can occur. But if often doesn’t as the threads are taken over by a few people who comment many times in a short period of time. Often commenters are accused of being employed by one political candidate or another, or by some foreign power.

The result works for the Post as they have reported higher traffic, but the comment threads on their stories are nasty zone, one that reflects poorly on the newspaper, and especially its editors.

I reached out to both the Post and Times to ask a question: are the paper’s comment moderators monitoring the IP addresses of their comments? Neither paper returned an answer, and my guess is that they are not bothering to do this. (TNM finds that most of its comment spam regarding politics or pornography comes from Russia, consumer product spam typically comes from China – I though there are some exceptions.)

Tomorrow Apple will release iOS 10 and today I saw my first two app updates that mention the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system in their app description.

The Adobe Content Viewer, the app used to preview new digital editions, says that the up addresses bugs “for iOS 10 compatibility.”

The eBook and comics newsstand app Tapas also mentions that its update adds iOS 10 support.

Another eBook app, NYPL SimplyE, has also been updated. This is the new app from the New York Public Library, first released this summer. The update brings the app up to version 1.0.2 and fixes a few problems such as having books correctly appear in the My Books section after checking them out.

Kindle-app-icon-sm1Amazon has issued an update for their iOS Kindle app. The update allows US users to see what their friends are reading through Goodreads. Readers activate the feed through the app Settings.

Two newspaper apps were updated: La Presse+ has been updated for bug fixes, as has The Washington Post Classic for iPad.

On the productivity side, Microsoft has updated its iOS Office apps, adding the ability to store for and access Office files with Edmodo and 腾讯微云.

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