IntenseDebate Introduces Moderator Role

IntenseDebate has announced two new features, a moderator role and comment voting. IntenseDebate has always allowed users to assign multiple admins to help in administering the comments but these admins had full permissions to change various settings such as the blog account. Therefor, this required a fair bit of trust in the users you chose to be helper admins. The moderator role changes that.

Now you can promote any IntenseDebate or user to help moderate comments without having to give them full access to your account settings.

Moderators will have access to the moderation and comment history pages. They’ll also be able to remove comments that are out-of-line directly from the comment section which is convenient. I wonder if IntenseDebate will at some point create their own user roles/capabilities system or if they will keep things simple with pre-defined roles such as the Moderator position.

IntenseDebate has also added the option to disable thumbs-down voting just in case you want to make your comment system look a little more positive. I have to question why someone would want to enable that feature. Maybe Michael can fill me in on that.


4 responses to “IntenseDebate Introduces Moderator Role”

  1. I like the moderator role, been needed for a long time. They also seriously need captcha for non logged in commenters, spam is getting shocking.

  2. @Martin – I know Michael usually keeps tabs on posts about ID, he might know whether that’s available in plugin form or an upcoming feature.

  3. @Martin – I’m happy to help out and take a look at your settings to see what’s up. Can you send me details at

    Thanks for the feedback. We’ll definitely keep a captcha plugin in mind, but at the moment we don’t offer it. One of the reasons is that we don’t think captcha is a long-term solution to spam, but more of a band-aid. We think it’s becoming less effective than ever because it’s cheap for spammers to pay people to fill out captchas all day long. Right now our focus is on content-based solutions, like Akismet, so that we can keep the barrier to participation as low as possible. We’re currently working with our colleagues at Automattic to improve our Akismet integration.

    But again, please drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help.

    @Jeffro – regarding disabling thumbs-down voting, our goal is to minimize voting bias and mob mentality that can kick-in when you see a comment in the red. Votes are one of the main factors for user reputation scores, and negative votes can have a major impact on their score, especially if they’re brand new to IntenseDebate.

    Commenters are also more likely to give the thumbs-down to users with negative rep scores, so it’s even more difficult for them to climb out. We don’t want them to feel defeated and stop commenting, especially if their crime is that they voiced an unpopular opinion on a political blog or news site (which is quite common). We wanted to give admins the option to avoid this.

    On the other hand, there are some malicious comments (and commenters) that deserve the negative ratings, so we wanted to still give admins the option to offer the thumbs-down. I should have included this explanation in my post and I’ll be updating it shortly. :P

    Also as quick follow-up, you mentioned that you wonder if we’ll create our own user roles/capabilities system. Ideally we’d like to keep it as simple as possible, but it’s something we’ve been chatting about. I’d love your feedback – what other roles/capabilities do you think would be handy for managing comments?

  4. Intense Debate system at is totally RIGGED and BOGUS. A person can be in the process of merely posting a remark and suddenly have their so-called Reputation Score reduced by 50 or more points, for no reason at all. You don’t even have to finish posting before your score gets knocked down. You would think a site that purports to be a bastion for “freedom” in America would see to it that such things don’t happen, but they DO.

    Further, Intense Debate makes NO EFFORT whatever to delineate “rules” about posting, so there is never any understanding whether something said was deemed “out of line.” There is something very suspect about the whole system. People should open their eyes and be less trusting of such systems, especially when things are becoming more and more repressive with more surveillance going on, at all levels, everywhere. Why even engage with a system that’s cataloguing everything you do, when that system appears to have a “secret agenda”?


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