Civil's Moderation Guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure Civil is a place where discussions are productive, collaborative and in the service of our mission to support independent journalism, free press, civil discourse and public accountability.


  • Moderators will consist of Civil Foundation and Civil Media Company staff.
  • Moderators are intended to be referees rather than the source of truth/opinion. Moderators should not share their personal opinions about the quality of newsrooms, appropriateness of newsrooms’ presence on Civil, etc.
  • Moderators will undergo training on community tools, the Civil Constitution and the Civil Council decisions before beginning to engage in moderation.


  • Moderators will approve or remove comments. All comments are allowed pre-moderation, with the option to change to post-moderation in the future in the event of abuse.
  • Civil moderators will evaluate comments that have been flagged by users.
  • When someone posts 3 inappropriate low-level comments or 1 egregiously inappropriate comment within three months, they will be removed from the community discussion forum.
    • Grounds for immediate removal include but are not limited to:
      • Speech that is an incitement to cause harm against individuals or groups, an expression of discrimination against any individuals or groups or a threat, overtly or covertly, of violence.
      • Personal threats
      • Revealing personal information (home address, phone number) - this goes for people revealing their own phone number or email as well as people posting on others’ behalf
  • Moderators will liberally remind the community of the policies when comments or threads head in the wrong direction.
  • Newsroom comments and newsroom owners are also subject to deletion and banning, in the event that they act in an abusive matter.
  • Moderators will consist of Civil Foundation and Civil Media Company staff.

I hope that over time, as non-employee community members demonstrate good moderation skills, this set of moderators is balanced out to include responsible community members also.


We have seen many newsrooms and community members share proposals with the option of replying either on the forum or by email? Will this no longer be allowed?

Good call, I can’t recall the specific reason we decided to put this in here, but I think it had to do with making sure that all conversations on the Registry were archived and open to the public. I certainly don’t think that newsrooms who share their email on the community Slack, for example, will be banned. This portion of the guidelines should be made more specific.

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@megan_civil Thanks for the clarification, I assumed that it was not intended in that way. Also, would it be possible to modify either the About or FAQ page for the Discourse instance to link to these moderation guidelines?

@Benjamin sure, that’s a good idea – can you point me to the page you’re referring to and we can add?

@megan_civil, I’m not sure the amount of text that you can put in either place, but I would hope that it could be included on one of these places:

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