News website makes readers take a quiz before they can start trolling

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A Norwegian news website is making its readers take a quiz about the contents of an article before being allowed to comment on it.

The move, which is believed to be the first of its kind, has been introduced to try and combat trolling, online abuse and arguments and bickering from breaking out in the comments section of its new articles.

NRKbeta, the technology section of Norway’s national broadcaster NRK now asks its readers to answer a series of multiple choice questions before they can comment on an article, NiemanLab reported.

The idea is that people will have had to read the article in full order to answer the questions, which in turn will lead to better online dialogue from those commenting, says NRK.

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The questions also act as a kind of cooling off period that that may prevent some users from launching into an online tirade, despite perhaps only briefly reading the article in question.

Many websites, including on our own Thaivisa forum, battle to try and ensure the comment sections remain a welcoming place and where debate and conversation is engaging for users, rather than turning into a mudslinging contest or troll fest.

“If you spend 15 seconds on it, those are maybe 15 seconds that take the edge off the rant mode when people are commenting,” NRKbeta’s editor, Marius Arnesen.

Since introducing the questions, editors of the site have got less ranty, with people seemingly thinking more about the subject rather than launching into a rant and hitting post immediately.

Last month Google announced it was partnering with The Guardian, The New York Times and The Economist to develop an AI powered tool that roots out toxic comments posted online.

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