Jeff Sonderman over at Poynter details the new commenting system that The New York Times is rolling out that will encourage better comments:
The Times will invite any reader whose comments are consistently approved over a certain time period to become a “trusted commenter,” whose future comments go public immediately. Everyone else’s comments will be held for review by a Times moderator, as they are now.
“We wanted to both reward commenters who have this great track record with this additional level of privilege, but also try to experiment with ways we could get more good comments on the site faster,” explained Sasha Koren, deputy editor of interactive news.
The trusted commenters will have a green checkmark icon next to their posts and will be able to post without moderator review. The Times has some of the best comments of any news organization, and these new features should help make those comments even better.