Moderation, Hosting, Escalation and User Management

Summary and Introduction

In this article

  1. Editorial Guidelines Issues
  2. Summary of Main Points
  3. Introduction

Last updated: October 2010


Editorial Guidelines Issues

This guidance note should be considered in conjunction with the following Editorial Guidelines:

  • Accuracy

See Editorial Guidelines Section 3 Accuracy: Managing Online Content

  • Impartiality and Diversity of Opinion

See Editorial Guidelines Section 4 Impartiality and Diversity of Opinion

  • Harm and Offence

See Editorial Guidelines Section 5 Harm and Offence: Online

  • Children and Young People as Contributors

See Editorial Guidelines Section 9 Children and Young People as Contributors: Online Protection

  • Privacy

See Editorial Guidelines Section 7 Privacy

  • Interacting with our Audiences

See Editorial Guidelines Section 17 Interacting with our Audiences


Summary of Main Points


  • There should be a named individual in the relevant Division with responsibility for user contributions, including moderation, hosting and user management

  • An online space should normally have a host with responsibility for enhancing its quality, enjoyment and distinctiveness

  • The appropriate level of hosting will vary depending on the nature of the service and the expectations of the users of the service


  • All BBC Internet sites and digital public spaces which feature user contributions must be moderated: this may involve premoderation, postmoderation or reactive moderation


  • Effective moderation will involve avoiding excessive intervention while at the same time removing material which is likely to cause serious offence

  • The person responsible for user management should deal with moderation referrals, escalation and complaints about moderation in a timely way

  • Every interactive space on BBC Online should publish or link to simple, easily accessible rules of conduct or House Rules


  • Every interactive site or service must have a formal escalation policy with a clear line of editorial referral


  • Any incident of suspected "grooming" must be referred to the CBBC Interactive Executive Management Team, who will be responsible for reporting it to the appropriate authorities


  • At times of special sensitivity, such as during armed conflict, General Elections or after a terrorist incident, we may need to change our arrangements for handling social media and interactivity


  • Content which is critical of the BBC, for example of talent, programmes or policies should not be removed unless it breaks the House Rules or the law


  • The BBC Investigation Service can be used if a user has been disrupting a BBC space for a significant period of time


  • If a user chooses to interact and publish content, we should take all reasonable steps to manage the relationship with them to help make their experience more fulfilling: this will involve a transparent approach where the user understands what we are likely to do with their personal information and contributions before they offer them to us




This Guidance Note is aimed primarily to help producers who work with user contributions (including comments, photos, videos and stories) and with the users who provide them on BBC Online. For user contributions on third party sites, where audience expectations, practice and legal responsibility are likely to be different, see the Guidance Note on BBC use of Social Networking, Microblogs and other third party websites.


The Guidance Note on User Contributions for BBC News Output (covering Video, audio and stills contributions from members of the public) may also be relevant.


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