The active vocal minority of readers who post in the comments will have noticed that we have changed commenting systems, we have dumped Disqus after 8 years and switched to Vuukle. The primary reason was the million plus comments a year meant moderation was a huge burden in terms of man-hours wasted. A human would have to skim read the comments to filter out the knuckle-dragging undesirables who seek to bore our large audience. Vuukle convinced us that their Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology could deal with British slang and colloquialisms. To the editor’s relief the AI does.
The AI pre-moderates for toxicity in realtime as the user types, this alone has improved the comments. As usual a small minority complained and said it would ruin the site, they emailed to tell us how rubbish the system was and that we were committing commercial suicide. Now those same outraged correspondents are making hundreds of comments a month.
The comments are now cleaned up automatically, best of all it is no longer a task to skim read thousands of comments a day, many of which seem to be from people with manifest mental health issues. Former Guido staff still shudder years later at the memory of having to moderate comments, now the AI takes care of 99% of them and once a day we have a look at the rejected comments to see what has been put in the holding bay. Some advice to those still trying to gam3 th3 syztem, if you behav3 1di0tikaly the AI gets suspicious and blocks you. So why not just stick on topic and write in plain English?
We have of course had some teething problems with the software. If you have cookies disabled or adblocking enabled, you will have problems and that is always going to be the case, so enable cookies and disable adblocking. Vuukle have been debugging issues on iPads and some browsers. There are still issues to be ironed out, “reply to” via email still doesn’t seem to work on all browser / operating systems combinations. See the documention if you are having problems:
If that information doesn’t solve it for you, Technical Support might be able to help if you send them a screenshot showing your problem / browser / operating system / device. Email email@example.com…