A few weeks ago we mentioned we were putting together a Community Council. It’s launching today.
What is it?
The Community Council is a group of academics and readers who will help us moderate the site and improve the quality of discussions. They’ll do this by hiding posts for review by us and by modelling and encouraging great conversations.
We’ve launched this for two reasons.
First, we want The Conversation’s community to take an active role in ensuring its quality. That involves everyone, readers and authors, taking a direct role in its improvement and maintenance. Similar groups have worked well on other sites and we thought we’d try one of our own.
Second, we’re publishing more articles and bringing a broader range of experts on-board. Having a bigger (and more knowledgeable) moderation presence will be the best way to ensure quality is maintained across comments.
How will it work?
Hiding posts is new to The Conversation. If a Community Council member thinks a post violates our community standards, they’ll hide it – meaning readers won’t be able to see it or reply to it.
I’ll then be notified and review the post. If I agree it goes against our standards, I’ll remove it. If not, the post will be restored and viewable to all.
No Community Council member will make the final decision about whether or not a post stays on-site. We reserve the final decision to ensure editorial consistency across the site.
We’ve provided some general guidelines to the council. Like our community standards, we expect the Council to uphold these guidelines at all times.
Who’s in it?
The council is made up of 20 authors and 10 readers. They’re listed below.
We decided to invite people who have been contributing to The Conversation in a constructive way (even if we’ve not agreed on something), who have offered up both quality content, who are passionate about The Conversation’s goal of open and informed debate.
With academics, we sought people who were experts in particular fields and consistent contributors to their sections, both with articles and comments.
This is just the beginning for our Community Council. It will grow and improve over time. Want to be a part of it? Email me and let me know.
We’re excited about this. We hope you are too.
Cory Zanoni, community manager