The New io9 Commenter System - Explained!

You may have noticed something different about how comments work on io9. That's because our Gawker Media Overlords have unleashed a new comment system. It gives you a lot more flexibility. Read on to find out more!

We've been searching for a way to moderate discussions in comments that don't involve disemvoweling and smashing the banhammer around quite so much. So what awesome Gawker Tech Team (thanks, guys!) has come up with is a way for the (hopefully) more meaty comments to be easily accessed. How will we do this? The crux of the new comment system is that starred commenters have new powers (and you know that means new responsibilities).

Starred commenters are now discussion leaders, which means simply that their comments will automatically appear on the first page of comments. People who aren't starred yet will find their comments appear on the second page.

If you want to see all comments, not just starred ones, click the button at the bottom of the page that says "show all comments."

We will also be handing out a LOT more stars in coming weeks, so don't worry if you don't have one yet. If you consistently make interesting/funny/smart comments, you'll get that star. (Even more granular details about star privileges/responsibilities at the bottom of the post after the ***)

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE.

Comments can now be edited for 15 minutes after publishing. Yes, that's right. You can now correct your typos!

AND GUESS WHAT?

We now have improved image and video embedding in comments.

Comment threads will always appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent comments at the top of the page.

Related stories show to the right of each post on the permalink page. This is incredibly awesome.

DO YOU CRY OUT IN CONFUSION?

We realize it's a complicated new system, and it's still buggy - bugs will be especially bad today. Pipe up if you're having problems, or email tips@io9.com with the subject line "bugs in new comment system" and we will be sure to pass it along to our awesome tech team.

* * * EVEN MORE DETAILS ABOUT STARRED COMMENTER RESPONSIBILITIES

Starred commenters can see comments from unapproved commenters that are invisible to everybody else. If you're a starred commenter and see a comment in red, it's from somebody who hasn't yet been approved as a commenter for io9. But you can reply to it or click the "thumbs up" button and make that comment visible. If you think the comment is irrelevant or abusive, just leave it alone. It is invisible to everyone but you.

As ever, only moderators will have the power to approve commenters. So even if you give the thumbs-up to somebody's comment, they won't have the ability to comment publicly until a moderator has approved their commenter account.

Top image via Roberto Campus.