Wccftech Moderation Update March 2021
In our ongoing effort to ensure a healthy environment for technology, gaming, and pop culture discourse, we are announcing the move to a white-list-only system as of 1st March 2021. In the past, users have often bypassed our bans (usually within minutes) by creating alts (also called sock puppet accounts) and creating an unreasonable amount of comment volume for our moderation team to deal with.
To curb the advent of any toxic posts, we implemented a word filter that also had the downside of curbing free expression of people that were not a party to these horrendous statements. In other words, a few bad eggs made it incredibly hard for new members (or existing members) to conduct free discourse. There were also times when we had to take image and media posting privileges away to keep things in check. Fortunately for Wccftech-ians, we have come to a long-term solution to moderation that will be rolled out this week. Our aim is to make the Wccftech comment section more inclusive and attract newer members and we are going to be taking some major steps to ensure that in the coming days.
The finer points of the new system are as follows:
- On 7th March, the white-list only filter will go live. Only users that have the white list status will be able to post in real-time without moderator approval.
- Users without white-list status will still be able to post but their comments must be manually approved by a moderator before they show up. This means if you are not on the white list it may be a few minutes, up to an hour, before your comment becomes visible. This effectively makes alts and sock puppet accounts infeasible.
- During this week, 1st March to 7th March, users with high reputation and clean comment history will receive entry to the whitelist. You will not be notified for this, it will happen automatically when our moderation team goes over the comment history of active users. Users with hidden history may find that white-list status is delayed.
- When the white-list only system gets activated on 7th March, there might be some initial backlog which we have to clear so your cooperation in this matter is highly appreciated. Users might also face issues posting comments that contain media.
- Violation of ToS will result in immediate removal from the white list and placement on the blacklist depending on the severity of the infraction.
- The word filter has been removed. You are now free to express yourself as you see fit.
- The media filter has been removed as well. You are free to post any and all memes (that comply with tos).
- All blacklists and whitelists have been cleared. Everyone starts with a clean slate. This time, any bans will not be reversible.
We pride ourselves on free speech but rights end when the freedom of someone else is being infringed upon. We have thrown a large amount of resources to combat this problem but easy availability of throw-away accounts makes fair moderation impossible for a team of our size.
To reiterate, and as stated many times before, any call to harm, call to violence, hate speech against any protected trait (religion, ethnicity, sexuality, orientation, racial group, etc), hate speech against political parties or affiliation, doxxing etc will not be tolerated. NSFW/18+ content is not allowed either. What is allowed (and will continue to be allowed) is heated technology debates, memes, trolling, pop culture arguments, meme wars, light political discourse etc as long as they do not violate on any of the above. There is a fine line between adult conversations/having fun and verbal abuse (for eg using the f-word/swearing in the context of a debate is allowed, but personally abusing someone is not). If you are in doubt - don't do it or contact a mod.
An appeals form will also be posted for users that may receive a permanent ban. There will only be one level of appeal available and the decision will be final.