Journalists’ and researchers’ approach to collaboration
At the center of the Less Hate, More Speech project is a moderation process that was implemented for 15 months on 4 websites in Romania: GSP.ro, Tolo.ro, Paginademedia.ro and Blogsport.ro.
But the collaboration between researchers and journalists started way before the moderation system was deployed. It began in 2013 during several talks about the effects of uncivil comments at the end of articles both on journalists and the people they wrote about or interviewed. These talks were than put into a project proposal that was financed the next year through the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, Research Programme.
The researchers teamed up with these websites in order to see how do the comments look like on their websites and how we could have a better conversation and find the ‘better angels’ in commenters.
Essentially, the journalists were interested in seeing how it could be possible to reach better engagement with their readers and commenters while striving for increasing less moderation and cutting the aggressiveness, while the researchers wanted to see what conditions were necessary to foster these things.
The following report recounts the way the partnership developed, what were the interests of the two parties, what motivated them and what they hoped to find out during the course of this collaborative process. It includes details about the challenges posed by the Romanian context, the expertise the parties brought to the table and the development of the moderation procedure. For details on the latter and more about what we moderate and according to what principles, read the specific report dedicated to that.
Less Hate, More Speech – Youngsters Get Involved!
The project is run by Median Research Centre (MRC) in partnership with Educ Association and targets young people between 12 and 17 years old, in order to help them better identify and react to online and offline hate speech.
More, on the project’s website.