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Welcome To Shadowproof’s Community

Hi. I’m Kit O’Connell, Shadowproof’s Associate Editor and manager of our community. We’re trying something a little different at Shadowproof, and I hope it will result in an engaged readership and a lot of lively discussions.

A little about my background: In 2012, I was hired at Firedoglake, the predecessor to Shadowproof, to edit our community blog MyFDL. After two and a half years, I moved to MintPressNews where I launched MyMPN, another small blog, in October 2014. I’ve also managed social media for CounterCurrent News and other sites.

We hope Shadowproof will be both a website and a community, where members feel empowered to engage in passionate but respectful debate with journalists, editors and staff on every article. We want every reader to have a stake in our website. Here’s the broad overview of my community plan, and then a bit more detail on some of the major points:


Our community in brief

  • We want lively conversations and we want to make that easy. You can comment right here using Disqus, on Facebook, or by mentioning @shadowproofcom on Twitter.
  • You can also share links, comments, feedback and even files on our Share Anything With Us form or email them to
  • We’ll highlight the best of everything on our Community page and in regular Shadowproof Mailbag posts.
  • There will also be open posts a couple times per week, where you can talk about anything with other readers.
  • Please review our Community Guidelines, they’ll explain what we expect from you and what you can expect from us.


DO read the comments

Back on Firedoglake, some of our best articles would inspire lengthy discussion threads and heated debates. However, in the ten years since FDL began, a lot of conversation has moved off of blogs and onto social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Instead of trying to limit where we talk, we want to make it easy for you to respond to Shadowproof’s stories and other content.

Feel free to comment wherever you’re comfortable — you can respond on Facebook or Twitter, or use Disqus to comment here on the site. We’re going to read all the comments, and our editors and staff will respond as much as possible. We’ll also be reading and replying on all our social networks too.

Comments sections have become known as places full of vile bullying and abusive language. Together, we can help make Shadowproof’s comments worth reading. By default, our site shows the “best” comments first, so you can help by clicking the up arrow underneath comments you like (Upvoting). Liking comments on our Facebook helps in the same way.

If you dislike a comment, you can also click the down arrow (Downvote), and Disqus will take that into consideration. If a comment is actually abusive — it violates our Community Guidelines — you should Flag the comment and we’ll remove it as soon as possible. If you focus on responding and “upvoting” the good comments, they won’t have much impact anyway. Don’t feed the trolls, just flag their comments and move on!


Share anything with us

We want to share what you’re reading, and what’s informing and entertaining you. We’ve made it easy to give us feedback on our stories, or even share news tips with us. Our Share Anything With Us form allows you to write your feedback, or even attach a link or file. Remember to include an email address or another way to reply if you want us to get back to you! You can also email anything to, and even private message us on Facebook or Twitter.

We’ll post the best of what you send to us on our Community page (more on that below) throughout the day, and also share it on social media too. We’d love it if you responded to our stories on your tumblr or personal blog, then submitted the links with us to share. We also want to see what our readers are writing or doing elsewhere on the web, so share whatever you’re proud of with us, too. We’ll also have open threads a couple of times a week, where you can post about anything you want.

We’re also working to add encrypted ways to communicate with us.


Community and Mailbag

Our Community page is the heart of Shadowproof’s community. I’ll update it multiple times a day with links, insightful tweets, photos, videos, and whatever else you can think to share with us. On the Community page, you can see what’s going on anywhere on the site: different sections will highlight the best and most popular comments and the hottest conversations. Be patient with us — we’re still coding some parts of this page, so it’s going to change in the near future to become more useful.

On Monday, I’ll be launching a new series called the Shadowproof Mailbag, which I’ll publish about twice a week. Think of it like a digital version of the old letter column on the back page of a comic book. It’ll feature the best of our community pages, and a sampling of the responses we’ve gotten to our work, both positive and negative. Whenever possible, I’ll ask the original writers of the stories to respond to some of your questions and feedback in the Mailbag, too.

What we’re trying on Shadowproof is experimental in many ways — it’s a new kind of online journalism, and so we want to create a new kind of online community to support it. I hope you’ll be a part of that, and share your ideas with me.

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and