June 24, 2024

As the last process post on this website, a final look at increasing traffic on the website means that there should be a set of community guidelines that standardize rules and regulations so that it remains a safe and inclusive environment.

The main things I had to identify were problem areas already facing my website and what guidelines should be put in place. Obviously,  the biggest one was scam comments. I do not hold all comments until I can review them and accept or reject them. This step is already in the right direction to prevent possible scams.

I also want to foster respectful interactions, so any form of discrimination, bullying, etc. will result in an instant ban pending a review. I want each visitor to feel safe. With this being said, I want to preface that my website won’t tolerate any form of hate speech, but I want to distinguish between “hate speech” and “speech that you hate.”  Differing opinions and even controversial ones will be welcome as long as they remain respectful and don’t engage in violence.

I plan to publish these guidelines on a dedicated page on the website, ensuring they’re easily accessible and straightforward to comprehend in simple language. I was also considering putting it in a few different languages so that it can be understood by everyone, but as I see most of the users are from the USA and Canada, I don’t believe it is necessary.

Next, ideally, new users would have to read the guidelines and accept them before making a comment so that there can be no confusion or plea of ignorance. There should be clear warnings before possible account deactivation.

Monitoring these interactions will hopefully be done by the community itself reporting comments, as hiring a team, person, or myself to review them would be unrealistic at this size. There should be an anonymous reporting system to help anyone report content that doesn’t follow our guidelines.

In short, this is an often overlooked step and will be instrumental in the long term. With the free theme, some of these cannot be implemented, so in the future, I will look to create my own or unlock the paid version.

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