Last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette introduced a new commenting system for the Community Blogs' readers. The new system requires a Facebook account to comment. The new system is more reliable
In response to some of the feedback we received from our readers, we would like to clarify some of the concerns that have been brought to our attention:
1) Do I have to have a Facebook account to read comments? Why am I not able to see the comments?
Readers do not have to have a Facebook account in order to read comments on Community Blogs. A Facebook account is a requirement only if a reader would like to submit a comment.
Note: If a reader is using Firefox and has a third-party cookie tracker or a blocker on, he/she may not be able to see the comments. If that's the case and the reader would like to see the comments, she/he would need to allow Facebook connections.
Readers can manually delete these cookies when they close the Firefox browser.
2) I do not want to use my personal Facebook account to comment on Community Blogs. Is there an alternative?
Yes, there is. You can open an alternative Facebook account, just for commenting. To open a new Facebook account, you simply will need an email address that is different from an email address you have been using for your personal Facebook account.
3) How can I get 'Top Commenter' status on my Facebook comments social plugin?
'Top Commenter' status is awarded by Facebook based on an algorithm that takes into account your previous interactions on commenting threads, number of 'Likes' your comments had received and frequency of your interactions.
4) How is the new commenting system an upgrade from the previous commenting system?
The new commenting system is more stable and reliable. It also allows us to ensure that the respectful and civil discourse is sustained throughout all of the platforms on post-gazette.com, in accordance with our commenting policy. To read about our commenting policy, go to http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/uncategorized/commenting-policies-220479/
5) I am concerned about relinquishing my personal data to Facebook. How can I protect myself?
Facebook requires only limited information from its users to establish a Facebook profile. If you are comfortable sharing information about yourself with your friends only, you can customize your settings by going to 'Privacy Settings' and control who can see your photos and status updates. You also can adjust who can see information about you by going to your profile page and clicking on 'About' under your profile page.
6) Can I change ranking of comments and how they are displayed in a long thread?
Yes, you can, but only on threads that are longer than 20 comments. If you prefer comments to be displayed in reverse chronologic order or want them to be ranked in accordance with social ranking, that is you are interested in seeing the most 'Liked' comment in a thread at the top, click on the number of comments at the top of the commenting thread (see screen grab below) and you will be able to rank comments in accordance with your preferences.