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Release Notes

Introducing Read-Only Conversation

By Nadav Schachter

We believe that publishers have the power to create civil environments where people can engage in quality conversations. With the right moderation tools, publishers can better manage the health of their communities and gain increased ROI on their moderation efforts—ultimately allowing for more respectful interactions and fewer harmful comments.

To support this, OpenWeb is now providing a Read-Only Conversation feature for our partners. The feature enables Moderators and Admins to turn off commenting by article after a certain period of time or at their discretion.

We also want your moderators to be where the majority of your users are—there’s no point in looking into a comment posted in an archived article. An article can gain a lot of attention when published, but as the news evolves and new information surfaces, users move on to the new article. 

Read-Only Conversation allows publishers to focus their moderation resources where it matters.

A few more reasons why a publisher may opt to use Read-Only Conversation:

  • Sunset old content. If the part of the website that contains the content is no longer maintained or if the content is archived, it may make sense to close the comments on the content that lives there.
  • New information. This is when a major development occurs and it is not covered in the original article. You want users to engage with the new content.
  • Content is no longer relevant. For instance, a contest or a piece of content where live comments only made sense for a set period of time.
  • AMA: A publisher may opt to close the comments on an Ask-Me-Anything event that is no longer live.

Since we know that external events—like major breaking news—can impact online conversations, some publishers may opt to close the comments on sensitive topics after a set period of time. All publishers are different, so it’s important to have the flexibility to set your own standards and guidelines for moderation within your community.

Locking a conversation doesn’t remove or hide the existing comments. Users can always edit/like/dislike old comments within a Read-Only Conversation. 

Ready to turn on Read-Only Conversation? 

The feature is being rolled out gradually across the OpenWeb network. You can turn this on for a specific article via the gear icon on the Conversation unit, or globally for all the articles within the OpenWeb admin dashboard. 

If you need more information or have any questions, reach out to your Partner Success Manager.

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