What Disqus can learn from StackOverflow (and make internet a better place).

Published at 2018/09/24

StackOverflow is a part of StackExchange websites network. It serves as a platform for asking programming-related questions and getting answers from other professional users. Being an active member of this community lets You gain reputation points and milestone “badges” which are attached to Your profile forever (if You won’t loose Your profile score).

When You start as a StackOverflow newbie You barely can do anything there. To gain access to more options You are forced to help other people and make that place better. After some time You can obtain almost moderator-like features like reviewing/fixing other user questions and answers or creating new tags etc.

A word about Disqus

Disqus is a worldwide comment hosting service for websites and social communities that use a networked platform. It includes various features, such as social integration, networking, user profiles, spam and moderation tools, analytics, notification systems etc.
About that Internet hate..

Today we can see hate everywhere. In my opinion trolling can be as harmful as hate, because unaware users easily got into its various ways to distract them and make angry or feel cheated.

Remember - when you see an Internet troll it's for 100% a nolife/ultra-ugly teenager without any friends, who spends his time on annoying others.

So what Disqus can learn from StackOverflow?

Here’s my couple ideas what features could use Disqus to become more friendly place in the Internet.

Firstly: profile reputation

Users should be able to gain reputation through their comments — we are currently able to upvote or downvote each user comment — that should somehow influence user profile reputation.

Secondly: restricted access to comments

Each publisher should be able to set access restrictions to view, comment, or vote on comments on his website. That should be easily customizable from their Disqus admin panel / API.

Thirdly: gamification

The main drawback of proposed solution can be seen as an reduced activity of users that are blocked from commenting because of low reputation level of their profile. Less comments means less Disqus traffic/interest (and so less management happiness), but fortunately it can be fixed by gamification mechanisms.

Badges for comment amount milestones, profile reputation (both positive and negative) and so on.

Possible negative outcomes

Besides obvious things like costs of implementation and maintenance new mechanisms I believe that not all users would be happy for such changes — most of them will be actual haters/scammers/trolls but I believe some of them will be just a casual Internet users which won’t have time to built their profile reputation etc. Maybe for these users there could be a “Lazy commenter” profile type with fine amount of reputation on start but with a daily comment limit? Or allow users to actually buy reputation points for money? Sky is the limit.


I’ve noticed raise of negativity inside Internet commentary sections. Disqus is a huge player on this market and could make a change for a greater purpose.

I’m curious what do You think about my ideas — maybe You have totally different solutions for this kind of problems?

-- ł.

This is a re-post – it was originialy posted on my previous blog at 12/10/2017.

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