Comments and Moderation

Who moderates content on this website?

The moderation team is responsible for moderation services on the website. There is a small pool of dedicated moderators employed by us, rotating duties and coverage across all community areas.

How do I become a moderator?

We advertise open Community Moderator (and other) positions within the community team when they come up, both online on our website and in social networks. If you are interested in applying, it might be worth setting up a job alert on our website so that you will be the first to know when a new role is advertised.

Do you or would you employ moderators who already belong to your community?

We welcome applications from anyone with the relevant skills and experience. It is definitely useful to have previous experience of participating in online communities & social media themselves since that can help them to understand some of the motivations and social situations which can occur in online discussions.

Do you employ moderators with a specific political or religious bias?

No. Moderators are not employed on the basis of any affiliation, and are required to enforce the community standards neutrally and consistently across the site, whatever their personal perspectives.

Although they sometimes need to make decisions which may be unpopular, their actions should not be interpreted as being revealing of pro- or anti- leanings apart from pro-[our community standards] and anti-[behaviour which goes against them].

What hours do the moderators work?

We do not publish specific hours of operation, but there is moderation coverage throughout the day and overnight, seven days a week. Obviously, sometimes are busier and some periods have more cover than others, so we ask community members to be understanding if we do not always manage to deal with things straight away.

Who moderates the moderators? Do moderators work for the editor of a particular blog or part of the website?

Our moderators are part of the central Community Team which is part of the website and reports to the head of community and to editor-in-chief, audience.

All moderators work closely with editors and editorial staff across the website and some have specialist knowledge or experience which means they work predominantly in one or more subject areas. However, the community standards, which the moderators are responsible for enforcing, are set centrally, although we consult with the senior editorial team when revising them. Additionally, the Community Team regularly reviews activity on the site with relevant editorial departments, as well as updating them on any policy or approach changes.

While website editors do not directly influence moderation policy or daily process, moderation decisions are sometimes taken after consulting with editors who have specialist knowledge about particular subject areas.

Incidentally, we ask staff members and blog contributors (e.g. freelance authors) to report potential problems in participation areas using exactly the same method as everyone else. If a staff member spots an issue, they report it in the normal way to bring it to the attention of a moderator, who will then make a decision based on the usual criteria. Authors do not moderate their own content.

I have a complaint about moderation, how do I escalate it?

Unfortunately, the massive quantity of user content on the website means that we cannot enter into correspondence regarding specific moderation activity, although all correspondence will be read. If you have suggestions or questions about any aspect of moderation and community participation on the website, you can always contact us.

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