All online stakeholder engagement tools should have the option for the administrator to moderate (or hold back) any comments for publishing on an open commenting tool. The purpose of moderation is to read and approve each comment, to ensure the relevance of the comment, and that it is not defamatory to other people or organisations.

If you are using a third party to moderate comments on your organisation’s behalf, they should be fully across what the consultation is about. From the business case to consult and the risks of the proposal to other nuances that, to the uninformed moderator, may not be relevant, but a moderator who has the required knowledge can make a better decision on the relevancy of the comment.

Behaviours that require moderation in an open forum

Moderation is used to ensure that a conversation stays on track, and does not become offensive or derailed by inappropriate comments.

Examples of behaviours that organisations don’t condone within their consultations include:

  • ‘Spamming’ links or embedded content that contains offensive or illegal information
  • Advertising
  • Sharing personal information of others
  • Discriminatory or inflammatory behaviours towards another participant, based on their sexual preference, gender, race, relationship status, religion, appearance or culture
  • Making defamatory comments or directly complaining about related organisations, including their representatives or employees
  • Being disrespectful when disagreeing with the opinions or comments from other participants
  • Derailing the consultation by bringing up unrelated issues or questions.

You may notice that these are fairly common ‘rules’ for moderation, depending on whether you frequent other open forums or not. Consultations are much more efficient when there are no irrelevant or inflammatory comments for participants to sift through.

The risks of holding comments for moderation

Over 60% of people who participate in a public (or open) consultation do so outside of business hours, so it is important to have a flexible moderation system in place for those times.

The reason for this is because any delay in publishing their comment, even for moderation, may result in the participant becoming disengaged. You have then lost them as a keen voice for future projects, and are not getting the full value of this effective engagement tool.

The value of utilising software with incredible flexibility for moderation

Engagement Hub’s community engagement system provides our clients with so much flexibility in regards to moderation, whether it’s on a project, widget (tool), or item basis. For example, you may have two Idea Walls within the same project, with one moderated and one not moderated. You can customise the experience depending on what you require, with the choice of utilising manual or automated moderation for unmatched levels of flexibility. Automated moderation increases engagement, as comments are published immediately. However, you always have the option to unpublish the comment and review any moderation decisions made. Engagement Hub also includes a built-in profanity filter to prevent any profane words from being typed, let alone published.

All participants are held accountable for their comments, with all commenting tools within the Engagement Hub software requiring the stakeholder (or employee) to register and verify their email address before commenting. All activities within the consultation and other engagement tools are logged against the individual’s profile.

Moderating is made simple with Engagement Hub

Whether you choose to manually moderate your conversational tools or let our sophisticated automated moderation do the work for you, you will be surprised at the flexibility that our community engagement software provides.

To find out more about what our easy-to-use software solution can do for your consultations and how it can improve your employee and stakeholder engagement, contact us now. Our Organisation Ambassadors are here to support you and your company in making the most of Engagement Hub. 

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