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Comments on stltoday.com articles are changing.

Starting today, we are using a new platform to host conversations. 

Unlike the previous commenting system, users will not need a Facebook account. Instead, the same log-in subscribers use to read the website will work to write or respond to a comment.

Not a subscriber? You can still comment, but you need to create a log-in. 

Why the change? Basically, because our previous system for commenting was broken.

The new system is provided by World Table, and you'll notice several changes.

The biggest difference will be community moderation and a commenter score.

The commenter score is driven by activity, including the compliments you give and receive; quality of your comments; and content of your comments, such as insults or personal attacks. 

Verifying that you are using your real name or tying your log-in to existing social media accounts will boost the score.

Over time, as readers make more comments and receive kudos from others, they will be highlighted as people who consistently drive positive conversation. And others will be flagged as people who consistently troll others.

Commenters who are consistently rude or consistently distract from a conversation will be hidden from public view, and could lose their ability to participate in comments. 

Comments are a valuable part of our site, and one of the ways that our readers are able to talk to us, and to each other.

We do not expect a new commenting system to solve age-old issues, but we do hope that it encourages more thoughtful interactions.

As in any conversation with a diverse group of people, remain respectful of differences. We don't ask that everyone agree, but we do expect that people refrain from hurtful nicknames for other's political parties, sexual orientation or gender. Racism will not be tolerated. 

We're all human beings who deserve respect. We realize that the comments can become heated, but readers must not insult other commenters (or our reporters) and should remain on topic. 

Comments that violate the site's terms of service will be deleted — in some cases, commenters will be banned. To report an issue, you'll be able to use the built-in flagging system to alert moderators.