The site’s community guidelines will be centered around my community standards which are heavily informed by The Guardian’s community standards. These include:
- I acknowledge criticism of the articles I publish, but will defend my stance as these are simply my subjective opinions regarding topics.
- While I understand that some people feel strongly about certain topics, I will remove any comments that may be disturbing or threatening to others.
- I will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of hate-speech.
- I will remove any comments that are evidently commercial or spam.
- I welcome debate and dissent, and even personal attacks.
While most of these guidelines are inspired by The Guardian’s standards, the fifth and final guideline is rather unconventional. I will be offering an anonymous option in my comments section so that users of all walks of life feel comfortable participating — especially people that may need to hide their identity. For instance, my essay surrounding Iran’s recent protests may prompt Iranian citizens to comment; however, they may want to conceal their real names due to the regime’s violent crackdowns.
The fifth community guideline makes me think of the TED Talk we watched in class, “How I turn negative Comments into positive interactions”. The speaker expressed that anonymous users feel more comfortable to say what they want and to critique; however, this often leads to hate comments. I feel that while some people will critique my posts, I am open to criticism. As the speaker explained, “empathy is not endorsement”, and therefore, this creates a more open platform for dialogue.
On the other hand, this is simply a local photography blog so I honestly can’t say I’ll stir up any controversy. With that said, “you can’t exist as a writer for very long without learning that something you write is going to upset someone, sometime, somewhere” (Atwood, 2022, para. 7).
I will implement these guidelines by outlining them in a separate page. This way, users understand that their comments will be public and they can follow the standards. Also, having open interaction will allow me to document how people engage with certain topics. Comments coupled with Google Analytics will allow me to determine what kind of content is best for my audience. These tools will address the question: What does my audience want to see? Finally, while there is a contact page where people can directly request certain topics, I believe people are more inclined to comment organically as they engage with content.
It’s been a pleasure creating this site — thank you!