Today the IWA publishes its moderation policy which aims to promote constructive debate and to ensure inclusivity
The comments on Click on Wales are an important part of the debate that the IWA exists to provoke. However, we’ve had numerous complaints from our members over a period that a small number of contributors are crowding out debate and are pursuing personal agenda’s which often take the debates off topic. Whilst we have contacted some users to warn them that they are in breach of our comments policy that policy has not been published, until now. To ensure that there’s a shared understanding of the terms of debate on our site our comments policy is now available and will be enforced consistently. Those who have persistently breached the guidelines have been informed that their posting privileges have been withdrawn. We do not take this action lightly but after much discussion feel it is important in order to foster the constructive debate we exist to promote.
The comments policy is available by clicking the button in the top left-hand side of the website, below the ‘Recent Comments’ feed.
The IWA encourages readers to comment on our articles. Comments are moderated. The aim is to foster inclusivity, to avoid abuse of our contributors and other commentators, and to ensure that comments add something valuable and substantive to the material that is being commented upon. We have adopted this policy to ensure that all those who wish to participate in IWA debates feel safe to do so, to encourage constructive discussion and to avoid unnecessary aggression. Comments are moderated according to the following criteria:
- Comments must engage with the article, or at minimum other comments – irrelevant contributions will be rejected.
- Comments must be coherent – incoherent and rambling comments will not be published. This does not mean comments have to meet academic standards; simply that they must be intelligible to other readers.
- Criticism should be constructive in order to further the debate – overly negative, insulting or petty comments will not be published.
- Comments must not be abusive; including deliberately attacking the contributor or other commentators, personal slights, and using excessive or unnecessary swear words.
- Comments must be respectful of other contributors; including the author and other commentators. Language that causes offense to minority groups will not be tolerated.
Participants who seriously, persistently or willfully ignore the participation guidelines will have their posting privileges withdrawn. This is not an action that we take lightly or arbitrarily. However, we are aiming to create and maintain an online experience consistent with IWA values, and we reserve the right to make decisions which we feel support that.
We will remove any content that may put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libelous or defamatory postings, or material posted in breach of copyright. We will not edit user posts to change the meaning, spelling, or anything else intended by the user. Even if only part of a comment or posting is perceived as breaching the community guidelines, the whole thing may be removed.
Interpretation of this policy is at the discretion of the IWA editors. If we are unsure about a comment we will discuss it with the other co-editors before taking a decision. We sometimes contact people when we have concerns about their comments but we do not do so as a matter of routine. If your comment is not published and you have not heard anything, you may wish to resubmit your comment in a manner that is in line with our comments policy. We accept that some individuals may find a particular decision unsatisfactory, but we take the view that there will be more who welcome the ability to participate in fruitful and worthwhile discussion and debate.