Yesterday we posted a proposal for moderation of comments at Newsvoice. You can read the initial proposal here. The response has been overwhelming, but rest assured we’ve read every single comment we’ve received.
We want to remind you that this is still a proposal and a work in progress. We are committed to being as inclusive as we can, both in terms of which content is allowed on the site and in our decision-making process.
It’s clear from the feedback we’ve received that most of our readers want a place free from censorship and pro free speech. We hear you loud and clear, and want to move the proposal in this direction.
Unfortunately, there are some things we cannot ignore when setting the moderation rules.
There are some things that we always, by law, will need to remove. We are an international app, and at least for now we don’t have the bandwidth to do moderation differently for different countries or states, so we will need to go for the lowest common denominator. Examples of things that we are required to remove:
- Incitement to violence
- Links to child pornography
- Cyberbullying and harassment
Rules of App Store and Google Play
On top of the legal requirements, to keep Newsvoice in the App Store and Google Play we need to abide by their rules. Otherwise, there will be no Newsvoice at all. This is what Apple says in their rules:
Apps should not include content that is offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste. Examples of such content include:
Defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups, particularly if the app is likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way.
Spam, bots, and solicitation
Although spam, bots, and solicitation haven’t been a problem at Newsvoice yet, they are likely to become one as we continue to grow — and we want to be prepared.
Again, this is still a proposal and we very much appreciate all feedback on how we can make this better for everyone.
Removal of unlawful comments
We will only remove comments that we are required to remove by law. We will remove those comments because we aren’t too stoked about going to jail or being fined.
Limit the rate that comments can be posted
By setting a limit of how often comments can be posted, we think we can curb the worst spam. The exact setting may need to be tweaked, but perhaps a limit of 5 posts in 10 minutes could be a reasonable start.
Zero tolerance of bots
If we detect bots, they will be immediately blocked and their comments removed. Newsvoice is for humans only.
Hiding of comments in the apps
We will hide comments in our app as required by the rules of App Store and Google Play. We will make a minimal effort, so as to keep as many comments as possible but still stay in the app markets.
Hidden comments will still be accessible on our website for anyone to view. They will be marked as being hidden together with the reason for their exclusion in the apps. This will ensure transparency and accountability regarding how the app is moderated.
We listen to your ideas!
We really appreciate all the constructive feedback we’ve gotten so far. Keep it coming!
Viktor / Newsvoice