There is a disease attacking websites, and it’s the comments section. They’re cesspools of vitriolic racism and sexism, at the best of times, they’re just ads for scams. It’s what Forbes journalist, Sarah Jeong, calls “the Internet of Garbage”. Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao resigned after the sexists and racists of Reddit revolted when 5 toxic subreddits, dedicated to harassing people, were shut down. Policing comments is a thankless task that falls on unpaid Reddit mods, literal Filipino sweatshops, or armies of interns.

Tessa Thornton, self-described “tech feminist” and developer at Shopify, has developed a cure, Echochamber.js. Echochamber.js is a little snippet of Javascript that adds a simple comment form to your blog or website. However, when a user tries to submit a comment, it gets saved to the user’s computer. The commenter and only that commenter will see their comment and is “confident that their voice is being heard and feel engaged with your very engaging content.”

A look at Echochamber.js via, Github.. Image 1.A look at Echochamber.js via, Github. 

You don’t see the harassment, you won’t have to police the spam, it adapts to your website’s theme, and you don’t even need to spend precious space on your own server as it’s all stored on the user’s computer. It works with LocalStorage, a new feature of HTML5, the foundation of the web. It’s a way to store data on the user’s local browser that will survive a stray refresh or back and isn’t transmitted back to the server. 

Cover: Github