Best practices for online comment moderation

2013-06-04. How to best moderate, manage and make use of online comments is one of the key challenges that news organisations are facing today. As Larry Kilman, WAN-IFRA deputy CEO, pointed out in a presentation on the need for moderation at the 20th World Editors Forum, “The news industry’s future is about how citizens engage and participate in their society.”

by WAN-IFRA Staff | June 4, 2013

In partnership with the Open Society Foundations, the World Editors Forum is conducting interviews with 100 online editors, social media editors and community managers to identify the different ways that news organisations are approaching online commenting, and to offer best practices to distribute to editors around the globe.

Kilman presented some initial findings, ahead of an in-depth report which will be published in July. Best practices identified so far include:

  • Post guidelines for contributors on site, and use those criteria in moderation practices.
  • Guidelines should encourage constructive conversation, encourage others to get involved – many of them don’t
  • Educate your readers and users
  • Highlight good comments
  • Appoint a community manager/social media editor

The final report can be downloaded for free here

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