Minor Comments Changes: Auto-Collapses And Star Rules

Any comment that isn’t part of an active thread, or had a recent response, will be collapsed — unless the commenter is a star or one of your friends. Stars are now only by an editor or admin. Previously, you get earn a star just by having a certain number of friends and followers, but no longer. However, if you already have a star, you will get to keep it. Unless you start stinking and we remove it. You’ve probably already noticed these changes, they’ve been in effect for about a week.


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  1. trk182 says:

    Sneetches that live on the beaches.

  2. jjeefff says:

    How long till this comment disappears?

  3. Caffiend says:

    I do not like it, Ben I don’t.
    That comments should compress on post.
    Posts should stand on their merit,
    unless there’s no merit there it.

    • doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

      I do not like your comment sir
      But I am just a worthless cur
      My woeful posts, they are to blame…
      You see no ‘star’ there by my name.

      I’m Cindy Lou Who and I approved this comment.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      Auto-collapsing seemed topsy-turvy
      At first confusing, but now pretty groovy
      But for those who’ve not ascended to heaven
      Must look not to bots, but their editorial brethren
      Yet those not starred hastily, might ask forthwith,
      Exactly who, when and where must I sleep with?!

      • mac-phisto says:

        the layoffs came first, which left only two
        comments cut next, which worries this who
        & stars now bestowed with a whoosh from the wand
        of a wheechit or woochit or whabifootan?

        what has become of this magical place
        where consumers all gather to price, poll & pace?
        have the schloppity-schlopps or the schluppity schlups
        seized this blog market to peddle their mucks?

        this must be the work of the slippery shills

        and they came and they frumped with their froompity fromps
        type-typing away on their overclocked comps
        TIL NO ONE IS LEFT!” and they bellowed a big “HARTY-HAR-HAR!”

  4. midwestkel says:

    Dang, I wanted to earn a STAR!

  5. MeOhMy says:

    I have to say this is a great thread for a few reasons:

    #1 I first made the Sneetches reference on Lifehacker earlier this week!

    #2 I have long complained that giving commenters special recognition based on senseless metrics like “connectedness” instead of actually great contributions doesn’t encourage great contributions at all.

    So thanks, Gawker!

    I still dislike the auto-collapse feature and believe this should be a user setting.

    • Murph1908 says:

      @Troy F.:
      Agree with #2.

      IGN had an annoying issue with their comment rankings. For them, it’s the “watched user list”. Ended up a “WUL” turned into currency.

      For example, a post would be, “Can someone tell me where to get the submachinegun? Will WUL.”

      Completely devalued the entire system.

      On that note, IGN recently uglified and overstuffed their pages. I no longer visit.

    • Git Em SteveDave loves this guy--> says:

      @Troy F.: Whatever happened to the Connectedness index? I saw it around, but it never changed.

  6. B says:

    Auto collapsing comments makes me angry. I do not like this feature and I wish it would go away. I do, however, like the rest of the new commenting system. Oh, a note for those who don’t like the auto-collapse. Clicking on classic view expands all the comments, but also returns them to the non-threaded format.

    • B says:

      @B: Also, Expand all expands all the collapsed comments, something that wasn’t working before, so I am glad that’s fixed.

      • Bladefist says:

        @B: I would complain here, since Ben probably doesn’t code the site:

        @Troy F.: You would hope people who have lots of followers, are the same people who have the best comments. I can only think of a few exceptions.

        • Bladefist says:

          @Bladefist: I kinda sounded like a jerk in that comment, wasn’t trying too.

        • Ben Popken says:

          @Bladefist: Getsatisfaction is a great place to give feedback about tech issues. The absolute head of tech at Gawker monitors it closely and is active about reacting to people’s questions and comments. I know this because I get her forwards!

      • Xerloq says:

        @B: I’m glad it’s fixed, too, but if I didn’t have my MX Revolution with Hyperscroll I’d never make it through the comments.

        my $0.02:
        * make the comments span the width of the window instead of the fixed width comments we’ve got
        * give option to have commenter name to the left or right of the post, next to the post
        * Give option to turn threads on or off

        Don’t I have anything better to do than complain on Consumerist?


  7. BeeBoo says:

    I still don’t understand why anyone would want to collapse comments. You either want to read them or you don’t. I am tired of having to uncollapse the comments, especially when clicking on the 2nd, 3rd etc. pages.

    I wasn’t aware of the star thing but it makes no sense, either. There is no one who has 100% outstanding posts. Starring a post makes more sense than starring a poster. And having stars appointed but keeping the hereditary ones smacks of aristocratic privilege-granting.

  8. elisa says:

    Yes, I’ve noticed that some comments had been collapsed to 1 line. And that made me mad. I don’t want to have to click on expand all every single page. No one just reads 1 line of a comment and doesn’t want to read the rest (unless truly boring, of course). Arghh!

    I wish there was an option to ALWAYS have classic view on. Or Expand All on. Add that please?

    • snoop-blog says:

      @elisa: There is. I’ve noticed that if I switch to classic veiw, it remains in classic view until I switch it back to threaded.

  9. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I’m not a fan of the collapsed posts, but I can switch it to classic or threaded and it’ll be cool.

    But I really don’t like the fact that replies aren’t indented or color coded in some way to let me know when the replies stop and other comments resume. It’s still kind of hard to tell.

  10. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Stars upon thars? Its taken a bit to get used to the new format, but I like it.

  11. VikingP77 says:

    Finally I understand what is going on now. I don’t care for the collapsing posts either. It takes away from the point of posting. I like to read everyones no matter how relevant or irrelevant it is.

  12. Ecks says:

    Is there a way to edit user settings so they can choose “Classic View” or “Expand All” on every thread? I find every thread I go in I click “Classic View” because it’s easier than expanding things.

  13. ludwigk says:

    How come the star system is going away? Sometimes, running to Consumerist to post something snarky or inane, then seeing the little gold star next to my name is the only thing that gets me out of bed. It’s like a little endorphin rush every time I see it, a glimmering beacon of tacit approval from the faceless internets. People like me! They really like me!

    What is everyone else supposed to do? HHMMMMM????? What lengths must people go to to earn their stars now?

    YOU CAN HAVE MY STAR WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD, FINGERS!! (please don’t take my star away)

  14. ElizabethD says:

    I never even noticed the star thingie until this post! Duh. :-)

  15. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I have no star by my name,
    Having fame I cannot claim.
    Are my comments all the same?
    Are my comments all so lame?

    Collapse my comments, go ahead,
    Nobody cares what I said.

  16. Antediluvian says:

    So, Ben, can I have a star now? Pretty-please? I think I comment very goodly. Although I’m not even gonna try to rhyme.

    Also, I love all sneetches, star-bellied or not.

  17. courtneywoah says:

    I find it strange that there are rules on how you can express your opinion, whether relevant or irrelevant. I am not liking the direction this is going…

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @courtneywoah: This isn’t an update to the Comment Code, they’re collapsing threads that haven’t had recent activity. It’s not punishment for having said the wrong thing.

    • mike047 says:


      With you. Seems like the Consumerist staff has an increasingly dictatorial hold on comments. I doubt this one even appears. None of mine seem to.

  18. mikestan86 says:

    This star thing will surely lead to some sort of corruption and abuse of power.

    Hmmmm…. I wonder if I could get an editor or admin in my pocket.

  19. dmuth says:

    I can understand reserving stars for editors and admins, but it would be nice if there was another system to identify people who leave above-average comments. Maybe something like the moderation system that Slashdot uses, for example.

  20. sventurata says:

    This really works for me – nested comments were great until people began to ignore the “reply” function and posted the same inane observation as a different thread. Hopefully this will kill the redundancy. (Here, due to moderate comment volumes, it wasn’t an issue, but other Gawker sites… ye gods.)

  21. thelushie says:

    I wondered why stars were given for connectness and then I would look at some of the star commenters and see very few friends and followers. At first I read it as given by an admin, etc and I thought that was how it was always done but now I understand. (I feel like I am rambling and I apologize. Please don’t steal my star.)

  22. Fist-o™ says:

    Watch… one day, they’re going to show up and take away the stars from the people who have them; and give stars to everybody else! ;)

  23. WhirlyBird says:

    Wow, people still comment on Consumerist posts?

  24. sassbrown74 says:

    I think us readers should be able to take stars away from the editors when posts contain typos…

  25. darkryd says:

    Ironically, the Consumerist is making a change that doesn’t benefit their consumers (the readers).

  26. hairyseaword says:

    As an hourly frequenter of roughly a dozen blogs and sites I’m constantly puzzled by Consumerist’s comment policy, which seems insanely strict and is often the focus of unnecessary tweaks.

    It’s clear Consumerist takes comments seriously, I mean — come on! — one has to audition to be allowed to have comments even published.

    So why the constant comment setting adjustment? If the comments are the focus (which again, they seem to be) why change the formatting all the time? It’s just confusing to commenters and followers.

    And the star thing doesn’t seem very free market at all. Maybe the community should be able to vote or rank posters and/or comments.