Earlier this year, we committed to fighting hate speech and began taking the first steps toward curbing toxicity on Disqus. As a Product Analyst, I focus on developing technology to facilitate good content. Our goals for this technology are to enhance community management tools for moderators, give users more power to address abuse and toxic comments within the communities they participate in, and improve the internal tools that our Abuse team uses for reviewing reported content that violates our Terms and Policies.
Over the course of three days this month, we hosted our first hackathon of 2017 at Disqus. Our goal was simple: build cool products to help publishers tackle their biggest challenges. We kicked things off with a pitch session where nearly 50 ideas were pitched! Afterwards, teams formed, ideas were iterated on, and plans were drawn out. It was time to hack.
Recently we've talked a lot about improving discussion quality and easing the burden of moderation for publishers. We're committed to continually delivering new features and functionality to help publishers foster high quality discussions while spending less time moderating. Over the next couple months we will release several moderation related updates. Today we're excited to announce the first of these updates that includes three new features - Comment Policy, Thread-level Pre-moderation, and Flagging Reasons.
2 new tools to fight trolls, improve discussion quality, and save your team time!
We're excited to announce two new moderation features for publishers using Disqus Pro - Shadow Banning and Timeouts. With these new features at their disposal, moderators now have even more flexibility when dealing with troublesome users. While the traditional user banning feature is a great way for moderators to keep spammers and trolls out of their communities, a one size fits all solution is not always flexible enough to deal with different types of users. That's where Shadow Banning and Timeouts come into play.
Earlier this year we wrote about our plans to release new versions of Disqus with optional advertising and new features to give publishers more options for growing and managing their audiences. We're excited to announce that recently we launched Disqus Pro and Disqus Plus, our first two subscription versions of Disqus.
Over the past month we’ve been talking to publishers of all sizes about our plans for 2017. During this process we’ve picked up some great feedback that we look forward to incorporating in future releases. In the meantime, we want to clarify our intent to keep Disqus free to use and address some frequent questions about advertising.
Free speech is a fundamental part of the Disqus network. We power diverse discussions across millions of websites, reaching billions of readers. Our platform enables people from across the web and around the world to share, discuss, and debate issues and their beliefs. Whether or not we personally identify with everything posted on our network, we believe in the right to speak our minds and share our ideas.
Going into 2017, more than ever, we see publishers investing in tools to build their own, site-specific, communities and engage with their audiences. Some of the examples that we see from top publishers are premium or paid content, subscriptions, newsletters, and site-specific account systems. The unifying theme across all of these tactics is a desire to have more control over audiences and more powerful means of engaging and retaining readers. Our goal is for Disqus to amplify these tools and tactics to help publishers who use them be more successful. To do this we will release new, subscription-based versions of Disqus later this year that will give publishers more control over their audiences and more customization options.
Recently, we rolled out several sweet updates to the Moderation Panel to reduce the time one spent moderating. With Priority Sort, moderators can now quickly focus on the comments that need the most attention first. Searching for comments is now faster and easier with the new Filter tool that lets you view comments by issue. Lastly, smart comment tags provides much-need context about a comment in moderation.