Disqus

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Disqus is a comments hosting silo.

You can use Disqus to create a comments embed on your site and blog posts.

Though this does encourage your readers to sharecrop (on Disqus) their comments on your posts, it also provides them a single place to view the comments they've made across any/all sites that use Disqus for comments.

How to

How to Export

(this section is a stub and needs help!)

How to export your comments from Disqus is actually two different questions:

  1. How to export comments written by you from Disqus (across all posts/sites you've commented with Disqus)
  2. How to export comments on your posts and site from Disqus (across all users who have commented on your stuff). Note: 2016-01-28 request for this

Exporting a blog's comments

Disqus provides the ability to export (XML) comment data from their system for people using it as a plugin commenting system -- that is comments written on your posts/site (across all users who have commented on your site). The export data they provide is meant as a simple back-up rather than as something useful that would allow the comments to be re-imported into another site. It appears that those who use it on WordPress can opt to have the Disqus comments mirrored separately into their database so if they quit using it they still own the data.

Exporting your own comments

As of 10/22/16 it still appears that there is no simple or direct method to export one's own comments.


IndieWeb Experience

Current IndieWeb users:

No current users are actively using Disqus.

IndieWeb community members that have tried this and their experience:

  • Aaron Parecki: "Facebook tends to get more comments [than Disqus] for me probably because everyone has an account and is always logged in"[1]
  • Christian Weiske: "disqus doesn't work on my page"[2]
  • "I’m fed up with Disqus. It’s been useful, easy to plug on this blog, but it’s a mess for web performance, and I don’t own my data, so… bye bye. Webmention is now a great alternative, with more people implementing it, so let’s try to keep only that."
  • fluffy: Was using it, but stopped due to a privacy issue. It's okay for quickly adding public comment functionality to a site but its privacy controls are nonexistent and the admin interface is confusing, and the API docs are inconsistent and mostly outdated. Webmention is not sufficient for the use cases in question (see this discussion) so using Isso for now.


Bridgy uses Disqus to add incoming webmention support to Tumblr blogs. It posts the webmentions as Disqus comments.

Issues

XML invalid

From cweiske on IRC: [3]

I'm using application/xhtml+xml as content type for my html pages, and disqus breaks because of this
contacted their support several times and they don't plan to support that

Criticism

Poor performance

  • Criticism: 2017-07-27 So long Disqus, hello Webmention

    I’m fed up with Disqus. It’s been useful, easy to plug on this blog, but it’s a mess for web performance, and I don’t own my data, so… bye bye.

    […]

    Disqus accounted for three quarters of the page weight!

Continuously loading page requests

Spam

Displays ads on site to public but not owner

Via https://twitter.com/fdevillamil/status/394368809597149184, in short:

I'm getting reports that disqus shows ads to everyone but the admins/site-owner and uses some very shady tactics to do it.
[4]

Supercookie used to do so:

Confirmed, looks like Disqus is using a super cookie to track me even after clearing cookies and then avoids showing the ads to me.
[5]

Compare screenshots made from different computers but from same IP address [6]:

Screenshot of Disqus ads shown on a site on a "pristine computer": BXj3PcDCMAEqzhY.png

Screenshot of same spot with Disqus on a computer used to previously access Disqus (but not logged in\ [7]): BXj3o5BCUAE5AgQ.png

Possible use of "browser fingerprinting" reported by former employee:

@zedshaw when I left they were trying to use browser fingerprinting despite my protests
[8]

Poor POSSE location

  • Chris Aldrich has noticed that POSSE is difficult or useless in the long term. He's found that adding any links (especially those for "syndicated from" or "originally posted at" on syndicated copies runs up against Disqus' spam algorithms and eventually causes Disqus to automatically mark ALL of his comments on the platform as spam whether they've got links or not. There doesn't seem to be any way around this spam issue. As a result no website that uses Disqus for comments will ever see his comments unless they're actively looking through their spam folder--something which few people do.
    • 18 out of his last 19 comments (8 without any links and 5 with only one link, typically one to the original content) on Disqus from 2016-2019 have been marked "Detected as Spam" with the painfully taunting phrase "Thanks, we'll work on getting this corrected." yet no remedy has been undertaken by the platform to fix their problem.

No privacy controls

There is no way to use Disqus for private/protected comment threads; even with discovery disabled, threads will always appear on a site's activity page, and comments will appear on the activity feed of any user who hasn't opted out from that. This is by design; they want Disqus to not be a way of adding comments to your site, but to be a global forum for all Internet users all the time where the threads are simply associated with peoples' webpages, despite there being absolutely no evidence that this is what any site owners want or what any Disqus users actually do.

Confusing/inconsistent API documentation

Many of the functions of Disqus are gated behind their JSON/OAuth API, but actually working with it is difficult and opaque. The developer documentation is also inconsistent, inaccurate, or misleading in pretty much every non-trivial case.

WordPress

The Disqus for WordPress plugin supports automatic syncing of comments between the Disqus system and the WordPress database. Which means there is no action required if Disqus is disabled for you to continue to have access to the comments people provided through it.

Articles

See Also