The Coral Project’s open-source tools

The Coral Project, a partnership among The Washington Post, The New York Times and Mozilla, is developing open-source software to help newsrooms make better use of comment sections. Greg Barber, head of strategy and partnerships at The Coral Project, says the three tools they’re building encourage more meaningful contributions and a stronger online community.
Reporting by Mitchel Summers, Reuben Stern, Rachel Wise and Blair Ussary.

For more information:

  • Trust is the first of three open-source products from The Coral Project. In short, it’s an “analytics tool that takes existing comment log data to give indicative reputational scores to publishers." It enables publishers to more easily find what they deem are the best user contributions. Trust is currently in closed beta. The Washington Post has already installed Trust on their site, and the New York Times is working on integrating it.
  • Ask is the second tool. With Ask, publishers could request for users to submit any form of content — like photos, video, live chats and polls — and then moderate and display the contributions on their sites. An alpha version for Ask is slated to be released next week, while Beta testing is likely to begin in the coming months.
  • The final product is Talk. Its purpose is to power comment sections and add “many new features to encourage more meaningful engagement, and to protect people from harassment.” A demo of Ask will be ready later this year.
  • All the code and documentation for The Coral Project’s tools and software is available on GitHub.

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Rachel Wise  
Video Editor


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