The ethics of digital #5: moderation

October 24, 2014

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.

As #gamergate continues to garner column inches and the topic of preventing abuse online gathers ever more heat, it’s worth saying that moderation as an idea and a set of tools has been around since the very first online community.

I used to be in charge of the BBC’s moderation service. In my job as host on the Internet blog I sometimes have to gently remind users to stay within the House Rules. It’s business as usual. The BBC spends money on it, the technical systems are good, we take it seriously and examples of trolling are rare and dealt with.

So why can’t other platforms or publishers do this? It can’t be money, since most of them are far better funded that the BBC.

Like most things in life, it boils down to whether you care or not. If you think free speech and having a platform where users can say anything they like is more important than people being abused, then you’re not going to be inclined to moderate properly.

It can be done, though, if you want to…

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One Response to “The ethics of digital #5: moderation”


  1. I wonder how many of us have forgotten (or just don’t know) what freedom of expression means.

    Or, for those who hold absolute libertarian views, what violence it may be doing.


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