In the “Less Hate, More Speech” project, moderation actually meant several experiments and interventions in the comment section, not just eliminating aggressive or intolerant content.
“Less Hate” moderation began in April 2015, with the GSP.ro website, followed by Tolo.ro in September. Two more websites, Blogsport.ro and Paginademedia.ro, entered moderation in February 2016. During the phase of moderation “supervised” by the research team, from May 2015 until the end of June 2016, the moderation procedures and commenting rules were collaboratively developed by the MRC team and the journalists involved in the project.
Over the course of this period, we implemented several experiments to see what kind of solutions can work to encourage more mutual respect and tolerance in the comment section. The experiments included different types of moderation (asterisks or a “small font mask” replacing the moderated parts), various warning messages shown before the publication of comments, explanatory post-moderation messages, as well as interventions in the comment section by moderation team members.
The following graph lays out the timeline of these experiments and also highlights other key moments, such as the publication of the commenting rules or the implementation of reaction buttons and comment ranking by popularity on GSP.ro.
To find out more about how the moderation worked, see the report on moderation.
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.