Warning that Comments Will be Reviewed by Peers Before Publication

Reduces toxicity of comments

Warning that Comments Will be Reviewed by Peers Before Publication

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Our Confidence Rating


What It Is

This is a prompt that any given comment will be reviewed by three peers for civility before anyone will see their comment. This should be shown before a comment can be submitted, so that the user will have the opportunity to revise the comment.

While the prompt itself is the tested part of the intervention, it should be paired with an actual peer review process (for example, prompting users to review other comments for civility before theirs can be submitted).

If no actual peer review process exists, the prompt becomes a scarecrow that can be ignored and it loses effectiveness.

When To Use It

Text comment sections on sites with sufficient traffic for it to be believable that multiple people might review their comment.

What Is Its Intended Impact

The peer-review process functions as prompt for users to reflect and self-moderate content before sharing.

This prompt, surprisingly, was the most effective step in a peer-review system of comments. Upon seeing it, many people posting either revised their comment or abandoned it.

How We Know It Works

Why It Might Work

  • Civil Co., a social media company, had implemented this peer-review prompt and process in their wider peer-review system to moderate comments (Bodganoff, 2017)
  • Bodganoff spoke of the outstanding success this intervention had at prompting self-moderation

It must be noted that this was not part of a formal study that was publicly available, it was published by a company claiming the effectiveness of their own product.

However the claim was on a post announcing the shutdown of the company and discontinuation of service, so there is presumably no underlying conflicting profit motive to their claim. To our knowledge, the founders have not gone on to start another business with a similar product.

Why It Matters

Special Considerations


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