November 10, 2011 · 5 Comments
[NYTX Editorial Note: The Times letter to its "Trusted Commenters" sent on November 7th was also submitted to us. It is located below this article.]
By Marie Burns:
In its never-ending quest to classify and categorize the hoi polloi, the elite Arbiters of Worthiness at the New York Times have created a new class of Worthies.
A number of commenters received notification earlier this week that they had been designated “Trusted Commenters.” The Times is publishing comments from these commenters without moderation. This means that comments from these writers will be posted hours before comments by Unworthies.
What? You’re not one of the Worthies? Neither am I.
When I complained that popular commenters — including Yours Truly — were not among the New Worthies, I received a response which read, in part:
I don’t know the details of your comment history on the times (and I don’t have any way of finding out), but just so you know the invitations [to become “Trusted Commenters”] are sent out automatically based on an algorithm that takes into account a number of factors. – Aron Pilhofer, Editor, Interactive News, New York Times
One of these Algorithmic Worthies is “tom” from “pittsburgh.” Today tom wrote a short, innocuous comment (on Dowd’s column) that begins:
The power of the press for good, is why the constitution is important to protect. …
… and doesn’t get better. But, hey, that’s how the algorithm crumbles.
Unless and until the Times sees fit to deem hundreds of us among the Worthy, I will neither comment on Times columns nor read the comments (since the Times receives revenue for every click on the comments pages). Please consider joining my boycott.
Letter sent to Times “Trusted Commenters”
From: NYTimes.com <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, November 7, 2011 3:50 PM
Subject: Invitation to Become a Trusted Commenter on NYTimes.com
Congratulations! As a dedicated New York Times reader with an outstanding history of sharing great comments on NYTimes.com, you’re invited to become an NYTimes.com Trusted Commenter.
If you choose to become a Trusted Commenter you will have the privilege of posting comments on articles and blogs without moderation. That means your posts will show up on the site shortly after you submit them.
You are among a select group of readers who have earned the privilege of testing this new system before the Trusted Commenter status is fully launched later this fall. At that time, there will be lots of new features and an entirely new design that will make commenting on NYTimes.com a better experience.
In order to take advantage of this enhanced role on NYTimes.com, we ask that you verify your identity by connecting your Facebook profile with your NYTimes.com commenting profile. Your Facebook name, profile photo and location will be imported into your NYTimes.com commenting profile.
The NYTimes.com Community team is very interested in your feedback. Please e-mail [email protected] with any comments, questions or suggestions.
Sign Up to Become a Trusted Commenter
Sincerely, Aron Pilhofer Editor, Interactive News
This e-mail was auto generated. Please do not respond.
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