Community guidelines for any social media platform is an important element to have in order to lessen the risk of possible inappropriate behaviour with your site. For this week’s process post, we were to develop our own community guidelines and think of how we would implement them.
My site and its content can be a very touchy subject as it deals with very real and personal issues that many individuals have to face on a day to day basis. The content can also be different for those who may not be comfortable yet with such diversity and it may either clash with certain beliefs or challenge their thinking. It is important that my blog does not force any opinions, but merely highlights and brings to attention the importance of having diverse narratives and identities published online.
Four core community guidelines could go as follows (more could be added with further development of the blog):
Create a Welcoming Space
Here, There stresses on diversity and opening up to listening and understanding multiple narratives, thus, it is important that the site creates an open and welcome space for all voices. By not offering a welcoming space, we are inhibiting the ability of those who may feel marginalized or already silenced to not be able to speak up and feel included within the discourse. No matter where someone may come from or who they may be, by creating an open space, Here, There will be able to carry out its objective of challenging hegemony and the “single narrative”.
2. No Hateful Comments
As a space that opens up to topics about issues regarding race, gender, and sexuality, topics can sometimes be very personal. As a space that encourages the freedom of speech, it is key to note that Here, There will carefully look at separating free speech from hate speech. We each have a perspective on how we view the world, but it is important to understand that hateful comments will not be tolerated and often come with negative repercussions.
3. Outright Discrimination Will Not be Tolerated
In conjunction with the second guideline, it is crucial that users do not make comments or post content that is discriminatory. As a blog that deals with the marginalized, discrimination is not uncommon for certain groups of people, so, having a no discrimination policy will help reduce what many have to face on a day to day basis.
It is crucial for Here, There to make it aware that all comments and activity from users will be kept confidential. As the topics discussed can enter very complex and complicated situations that some may feel uncomfortable or uneasy telling, it will be the utmost importance to keep this information private – unless given permission by the individual to publish and share.
But How Will It Be Implemented?
The community guidelines for Here, There, would be a separate page to click at the top so that it is apparent and visible for visitors to the site. It will also be linked at the footer of the site as well so that when scrolling and navigating, it is easy and obvious to read and get to. The community guidelines will continue to grow as I learn from my audience as well as continue to learn of what constitutes a good blog of my subject matter.
But How Do We Regulate This?
The importance of having community guidelines is not to add heightened censorship to the site, but to enforce certain rules to minimize certain actions that will have negative implications towards the blog and its users. It will be key to have these guidelines carefully looked at so as not to create problems regarding the freedom of speech. Additional community guidelines that would be implemented would have to go under careful analysis to make sure that it continues to provide an open space for all, but still enforces the reduction of hateful and discriminatory behaviour and action.