Process Post #12: Community Guidelines

For process post #12 we will be looking at developing community guidelines that are suitable for my site. Community guidelines are very important to protecting all users of the internet no matter who you are. This is especially important on the internet as there is no way to verify if a person is who they really say they are on the internet. For example, I could make a Twitter profile saying that I am Mr. Beast, a famous Youtuber and some might believe it. As a site owner I have the responsibility to protect all users that may comment or interact with my website, or else I could be held accountable legally. This ranges from “Internet trolls … [which] … are doing it for the “lulz,” or laughs” to “harassment … [and] violent threats” (Stein, 2016). 

As this is process post #12, I will hash out 12 rules that all users will have to follow in which I believe protect them the best.

  • All users must register with an account before posting
    • Prevents random spammers and bots, especially with reCAPTCHA
  • No files may be uploaded
    • Prevents viruses from being spread
  • All posts must be verified by a moderator before posting
    • Ensures that nothing slips through the cracks
  • Word limit of 500 words will be imposed
    • Ensures that trolls cannot spam
  • Suspicious activity will be flagged with a plugin, then reviewed.
    • Ensures that there is always a watchful eye
  • Users must be respectful
    • Ensures that everyone is respectful
  • Users must not use inappropriate or offensive language
    • Makes it appropriate for all audiences.
  • Out of control discussions will result in a mute/ban
    • Ensures that no conversations cause too much controversy
  • No copyrighted content may be posted
    • Protects me legally and ensures that I cannot be legally responsible.
  • All conversations must be lawful
    • Same as point #9
  • False or misleading information will result in a fact check and/or removal from the comments if it is fake.
    • Ensures that my website is not a source of misinformation
  • Have fun, this is a place for constructive criticism and discussion, please do not take everything seriously.
    • Keeps everything casual and fun

All these rules are designed to ensure that everyone can participate without being bombarded with misinformation or trolls. The Guardian’s article also influenced some of these rules, as they found that “The vast majority of blocked comments, therefore, were blocked because they were considered abusive to some degree, or were otherwise disruptive to the conversation (they were off-topic, for example)” (Gardiner et al., 2016). This is why I included things like the out-of-control discussion clause, because if someone is actively trying to pull people away from the conversation, how can people properly create constructive criticism? Coming up with these community guidelines has taught me that running a platform which involves social discussion is a lot more complicated than originally thought. People are just complicated creatures, and especially when social manners are involved, as you cannot guess most people’s next actions. 


Becky Gardiner, Mahana Mansfield, Ian Anderson, Josh Holder, Daan Louter and Monica Ulmanu. 2016. “The dark side of Guardian comments

Stein, Joel. 2016. “How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet

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