ShapeYourPlace let’s readers say what is acceptable - and what is not
THE community website ShapeYourPlace won an award last week for Cambridgeshire and deservedly so.
The work done there to create an engaging place where people can chat, report problems, debate issues and communicate with one another is excellent.
But unlike sites like Facebook and Twitter, ShapeYourPlace is a council website and so there needs to be a level of moderation to make sure content submitted by users won’t land the council in court for libel, damage its reputation or offend the people it is supposed to serve.
ShapeYourPlace ‘crowd sources’ part of its moderation, which means it asks users to ‘flag’ something if they find it offensive.
Recently, as this paper reported, I flagged an item I thought offensive. Others agreed and the site amended the title accordingly.
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It should be noted that the content of the discussion was not censored and still featured some strongly-worded argument of the same type. Only the title changed. By any standard this is pretty ‘light touch’ moderation.
The ShapeYourPlace method is good because it lets the readers say what is acceptable and what is not - and so creates a positive environment for discussion.
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I think it gets the balance just right.
CLLR STEVE TIERNEY