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How Gimlet Hacked Slack to Reinvent Its Comments Section
By: Contently
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The internet may seem noble and libertarian on the outside, but the deeper you go, the uglier and more repressive it gets. Everyone can have a voice online, but that democratization has also prompted rampant cyberbullying, trolling, and other kinds of abuse. According to a 2014 Pew study, 40 percent of internet users have been harassed in some form.

Publishers have struggled mightily to curb such behavior in their comment sections. Virtual anonymity stokes rage. Flagging and blocking offenders is a futile slap on the wrist. And monitoring an entire online community isn’t a practical alternative for newspapers and magazines with dwindling resources. (A notable exception is The New York Times, which employs a full-time team of “community managers” and just announced a partnership with Google Jigsaw that will rely on “robot helpers.”)

Gimlet Media, the podcast network founded in 2014, is trying to change all that with a creative experiment meant to increase positive engagement. Like many companies, including Contently, Gimlet uses Slack for internal communications. The messenger app is a wonder-tool that helps large organizations connect and brainstorm. Since Gimlet’s listeners can’t comment on podcast episodes as they would a blog post, Gimlet chief of staff Chris Giliberti decided to create a second Slack account for the network’s premium members.

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About the Author
This article was first published by Contently.com. A link to the original can be found at the bottom of the post. www.contently.com
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