A mockup of an intervention in which all posts have a delay built into them.

Delay-by-Default Posting

Give users a chance to reconsider their words before they go public

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What It Is

If implemented on a platform, all posts or comments would, by default, not appear to anyone else for a set amount of time (say one hour). A few minutes before that time is up, the user would be notified and given the opportunity to make edits to what they said, cancel the post, or delay it again.

The initial delay could be overridden (with a warning confirmation) and then labeled as an "instant post." This could then be downgraded by sorting algorithms (if spur-of the moment posts are deemed to be more hostile or of poorer quality).

Civic Signal Being Amplified

Promote thoughtful conversation

When To Use It


What Is Its Intended Impact

  • May foster higher-quality content that is less likely to be abusive or harmful.
  • Allows algorithms to promote non-instant posts over instant ones, so that more well-thought-out comments get more visibility than knee-jerk reactions.
  • Allows users to differentiate "instant posts" as off-the-cuff remarks made in anger or as a quick joke from more carefully considered commentary (something people are often not as good at distinguishing as they think they are).

Evidence That It Works

Evidence That It Works

Interventions in offline settings that get people to slow down and reflect on whether their automatic thoughts and behaviors are well suited to their situation lead to positive outcomes in reduction of violence and improvement of academic and cognitive performance.

Why It Matters

This incentivizes users to think more carefully about what they're saying to a global audience. Some of the least productive comments are done as an immediate "road rage" style response, and the anger behind them tends to fade over time. Building a system to allow people to reconsider their words after they have calmed down could lead to healthier conversations. It could also reduce regret over participation when people feel better about the things they have said that are permanently visible to a global audience.

Special Considerations


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Further reading

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