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Frequently Asked Question #62. What are comments? How do I enable/disable commenting?

When you write a new entry, your friends can respond by adding a comment. After your entry has a comment or someone replies to one of your comments, you may receive LiveJournal emails about your comments and your friends can also reply to the older comments. Comments can be 4,300 characters with subjects of 100 characters. Depending on the journal and poster you may be able to leave comments without a LiveJournal account; delete, freeze, or screen a comment; or edit your own comments, under certain conditions. However, you can never edit others' comments, even in your journal, on an entry you posted, or in a community you maintain.

Enabling and Disabling Comments

Most comment options, including comment notification emails, are located on the Privacy tab of the My Account Settings page:
  • Enable comments by selecting "everybody" (allows anonymous comments), "registered users" (allows validated OpenID users and Facebook users), or "friends" next to Enable comments.
  • Disable comments by selecting "nobody" next to Enable comments.
  • You can also control comments in your journal or a single entry.
  • After changing settings on the the Privacy tab of the My Account Settings page, you need to click the Save button near the bottom of the page before the changes will take effect.

Comment Notification Emails

Comments are made for conversation. When someone comments on your entry or replies to your comment, LiveJournal can let you know what they said right away with an HTML or plain text email. There are several different types of comment notification emails:
  • Notifications of replies to your entries and comments: If you check the "Someone comments on my journal, on any entry" box for the Email notifications option in the My Account section of the Notifications tab of the My Account Settings page, you will receive an email notification any time someone replies to one of your entries (whether in your own journal or in a community). If you check the "Someone replies to any comment I make" box on the same page, you will receive an email notification any time someone replies to a comment you made. These options do not email you copies of the comments you write yourself.

    If you have this option enabled, you can still choose not to receive notification emails about comments on individual entries. However, if you have this option disabled, you will not be able to enable comment notification emails for individual entries.

  • Notifications of your own comments: You can also choose to receive emails about the comments you write yourself. To receive these email notifications, go to the the Notifications tab of the My Account Settings page, and check the "Email me copies of my comments" box in the My Account section.

In addition to these two options, LiveJournal offers an Event Subscription Notification system that allows you to receive notifications of all comments in your journal. The Event Subscription Notification system also allows you to subscribe to entries or comment threads in other journals, so that you can receive notifications of replies to those entries or comments. In addition to notifications by email, the Event Subscription Notification system also sends notifications to your LiveJournal Inbox, and optionally by IM and text message.

If you aren't receiving email from LiveJournal, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take.

Finding and Reading Comments

  • Journal and Friends page: Your journal and Friends page shows the number of comments (excluding screened comments) on any given entry. This number is also a link to the page where you can read the comments. The default link is "# comments" with the # being replaced by the number of unscreened comments, but you can always customize it.

    Additionally, many browsers can display visited links in a different color from links that have not yet been clicked. Depending on your browser settings, when you click the "# comments" link, the link can change to the "visited" color. The NCTalkLinks option adds ?nc=# to the link, causing it to revert to the "unvisited" color when a new comment is left.

    By default, the entry comment pages in your journal will appear in the same style as your journal, if you have a Paid, Plus, or Permanent account and are not using the old style system. You can disable this feature if desired.

  • Recent Comments page: You can view the most recent comments you posted in any journal or community and the most recent comments you received in your own journal.
    • Basic and Plus accounts: 10 posted; 10 received.
    • Paid, Permanent, and Early Adopter accounts: 100 posted; 100 received.

  • Profile Page: Your profile shows the number of comments you have received and posted. This information is in the statistics section at the top of the page.
    • Received: The first number represents the number of comments that have been made in your journal, which includes your own comments.
    • Posted: The second number represents the number of comments you have made in any journal with that username.

Comment Threading

You can reply directly to another comment, rather than just replying to the entry itself. These comment threads (conversations) show what people say about an earlier comment instead of the entry.
  • Each comment has a link titled link, which links to that particular comment along with the entry.
  • The thread link for a particular comment displays a single comment thread: that particular comment, plus any descendants (children, or children of children). A comment is considered a child of the parent comment (or entry) if it is a direct reply to it.
  • The parent link, which is not on comments that directly reply to the entry, displays a comment thread starting one level up: the parent of that particular comment, plus any descendants of the parent comment.
  • Separate Pages: With 26+ top-level comments (beginning of a thread) and 50+ comments on an entry, the comments will paginate, so 25 top-level comments display on individual pages.
  • No Threads: You can view comments without threads -- in the exact order they were posted -- by adding ?view=flat to the end of the URL (or &view=flat if the URL already contains a question mark). Please note that this works only on comment pages in user's style.
  • Collapsed Threads: With 25+ comments on a page, the comment threads will collapse, so lower-level child comments display as a link rather than the full comment; this automatic behavior cannot be prevented.
  • Expanding Collapsed Comments: LiveJournal offers a feature to expand collapsed comments and comment threads without having to load a separate page to view the collapsed comments. This feature is available to anyone viewing any Paid or Permanent journal, and to all logged-in Paid or Permanent account holders viewing any other journal. To expand a collapsed comment or comment thread, click on the "Expand" link by the comment you wish to expand.
  • Thread Length: Comment threads can have up to 150 successive replies to one another before being limited by the style systems.
  • Comments per Entry: A single entry is limited to 10000 comments. After 5000 comments, you will need to enter a CAPTCHA value with your comment, even if you are logged in.

Last Updated: November 23rd, 2012

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