Talk v1 features

To design Talk, we do a lot of research into the design and function of online comment spaces, and how they can better connect with journalism. As a result, we’ve created a streamlined system that we believe can change how people behave and interact in the comments space, and allow moderators to more easily remove disruptive comments.

Talk is lightweight, secure, flexible, and responsive. It’s also fully extensible with a RESTful and Graph API and a plugin architecture that includes webhooks. We’ve designed it to help publishers of all sizes host and manage conversations on their sites. And like everything we make, it’s 100% open source.

Here’s what we have so far. Keep checking our release page for updates – we’re adding new features all the time, so this page is probably already out of date. And why not join our open source community to help make Talk even better?

How to join us in building features
See what we’re building right now


Talk’s comment box:

• Dedicated space for comment guidelines/privacy policy/system-wide messaging
• Direct the conversation with a question or topic on each article’s comments
• Commenters can view their own comment history (but not other people’s)
• Reporting/Flagging includes context to help moderators
• Ability to report abusive usernames as well as comments
• Banned words are immediately rejected; suspect words are automatically flagged
• Staff members receive badges for easy identification by commenters
• Small number of comments on initial load to increase speed
• Only two replies initially load in a discussion, to hide flamewars from view
• Ignore function to mute unwanted commenters
• Moderators can change comment settings on the article page itself
• Log in with social media or email

See the below image for more detail.


Talk’s moderation queue:

• View all comments or only those from a single article
• View the reason for why a comment is reported next to the comment
• Links and banned/suspect words are highlighted for easier moderation
• Keyboard shortcuts for quick moderation
• Ban users directly from the comment
• Pre-moderation comments separated from flagged comments
• Design based on feedback from moderators in 12 different companies 


Talk’s configuration settings (only accessible to admins):
• Admin-only settings
• Customizable messaging for closed comment spaces
• Automated closing of comments after a set period of time
• Limit the length of comments to encourage conciseness 



Talk’s moderation settings:
• Flexible settings around pre-moderation
• Admins can force all links to be manually approved
• Ability to copy-paste banned and suspect words and phrases
• Included: sample list of banned/suspect words and phrases



Talk’s technology settings:
• Whitelist of domains for comment security
• Customizable CSS 



Talk’s searchable story list
• Find comment streams based on article title, author, any other text in the Open Graph description
• Quickly close comments on a story



Talk’s dashboard
• Identify and access the stories that need immediate attention


What did you think? What are we missing? Let us know using Talk below!