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THE WINDOW-BLOG

Reviewing All Submitted Posts before Publishing

This post is a part of a series of articles which addresses the daily tasks and responsibilities of our Group’s Admin Team. To see all of the posts on Admin responsibilities click here.

Each and every post submitted to our Group is reviewed and evaluated by a Moderator before it gets published. Moderators examine every post according to the rules of the Group. They approve the valid posts and disapprove non-valid ones.

In the photo above you can see the “Approve” and “Decline” buttons that show on our Moderators’ panel along with each submitted post. We approved valid posts and we decline non-valid ones.
This is a screenshot from our Group Admin settings panel. As is shown, the “All Group posts must be approved by an admin or a moderator” checkbox is ticked. If we were to turn off post approval, all pending posts would be approved and go straight to the feed.

Reviewing posts is a time consuming duty. With the enormous amount of content being shared daily in our Group, our Moderators invest a lot of effort. Reading the texts that may be lengthy, and examining the photos (and each post may have several of those), requires attention and dedication. From our experience, approving invalid posts, or disapproving valid ones, is no small feat. Such mistakes are noticed very quickly and intensely by way of feedback that we receive from Members, and through the atmosphere on the feed. Approving the wrong post may spark negative controversy on the feed — very quickly. Disapproving a post that should have been approved, fires back quickly at the Project, with frustrated Members who will not want to share anymore.

The image above presents an example of the way declined posts are processed. In this case the post was declined for two reasons, and the Member was informed of them.

The first reason for disapproval: Due to the Member’s privacy settings, the Moderator was unable to see the content of the post. The Member is advised to make sure the privacy settings of their post allows the Moderator to view it, and then is invited to repost.

The second reason for disapproval: The Member didn’t include their location on their photo. Where was the photo taken?

Finally, in addition to the reasons of disapproval, we also provide a link to the Chat Support, where a Moderator is able to assist in getting posts approved.

Why is it that every post need to be approved before publication? Why is it that we won’t allow the content to be automatically published?

When Members visit our Group feed, all that is visible is positive and loving content, as intended. But in reality there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that our Members don’t see. There is all sorts of content that is nasty and ugly (in the worst case) and non-relevant (in the lighter case), that are filtered by our Moderators.

The above post was declined, of course.
This photo, from Erinn in Canada, was approved to be published, of course. It perfectly fits our Community’s concept.

Imagine what would happen, in a Group such as ours, with more than half a million people, from 165 countries, if everyone was able to share and publish whatever they wished, without any filtering or editorial supervision. What do you think the stream of content would look like without moderation? Would the environment in such a Community be positive or negative? Welcoming or dismissive? Friendly or harsh? Relevant or irrelevant? Can you imagine??

This is an example of the notifications we receive every time a new post is shared by a Member and needs our Moderator’s approval. These notifications are never ending, all day, every day.
Every time a Moderator approves a post, this notification is visible.
Every time a Moderator declines a post, this notification will be seen.

The role of the Team Moderators is to take care of all submitted content, moderate and filter it according to the Group’s rules. With that, our Team shields our Members from negative, unwanted and irrelevant content. Moderation is what makes our Group a haven, an island of sanity, beauty, positivity, and humanity.

This photo was, of course, approved by our Moderators. It is the view of our Member Christelle, from French Polynesia.

Without the work of the Moderators, inappropriate and unwanted content would appear on our feed, as we know that it does, in so many areas of Social Media.

The above post was declined, of course! This individual was blocked.

Allowing all posts to be published automatically would cause the immediate failure of the Project. Moderation is the Group’s most basic cornerstone. Without it, we would lose the meaning and fundamental reasons for the Project’s existence. It would fail right away.

How do Moderators decide which posts to approve and which ones to decline? They evaluate posts according to the rules of the Group. The rules filter out content that is disturbing, violent, political, unkind, hateful, bullying, or simply not relevant to the “What do you see from your window?” theme and concept.

Definitely valid content! Lindsey’s Window I Virginia, USA

When a Moderator declines a pending post, the Member is given an explanation of the reason for the disapproval. The process of providing our Members with the reason of disapproval is time consuming. However, it is important, for transparency reasons as well as allowing Members to correct their posts and submit valid ones. In addition to the reason of disapproval, we also provide a link to the Chat Support, where we are able to assist in getting posts approved.

One of the issues that we are concerned about during pending post evaluation, is the matter of Copyright. In our Group, Members are encouraged to share authentic and original content that they created themselves. The vision of our Community is one in which Members provide a window to their worlds and to their hearts, which is personal and authentic. To keep the Group loyal to its nature, the Moderation Team has been using computerized tools to detect stock images. If we see a photo awaiting approval on the pending list, that may be suspected to be stock (and this happens quite often), we run it through software that alerts us as to whether the photo was previously published online or not. With this information, we are able to decide if the post is to be approved or declined. When Admins discover Members who repeatedly violate this rule, we may remove and block the individual from the Group. It is a process that takes time, but it is important.

What do Moderators do when in doubt of the decision to be made concerning a specific post? This happens very often– daily, even hourly. With so much content being shared by our Members, it is natural that sometimes Moderators have doubt whether to approve or decline certain posts. Our Team calls these “borderline” posts. When the Moderator is unsure, support is provided by the Project Manager, by phone call or chat. A method we use, is to leave the questionable posts pending for just a little longer. The Project Manager then looks into all the borderline posts and makes the required decisions.

Our goal is that content published in our Group will meet its character and vision: to provide a tolerant, compassionate, loving space to our Members, and we hear from our Community that we have succeeded in our quest. How is it that the posts on our feed convey the loving spirit that they do? How does this “miracle” happen in topsy-turvy world of social media? Why is our Group a refuge from that? The answer: every photo and post submitted to our Group, without exception, is reviewed prior to publishing.

Moderation is is a demanding and time-consuming task, but is essential for maintaining the loving spirit and high standards of our Group.

Heidi’s View I Namibia

What do you see from your window?

With love, stay safe ❤️

Arik

Arik Zara

By Arik Zara

I am Creator, Project Manager and Moderator of "What do you see from your window?". If you would like to learn more about me, here is a post of my life story in my own words, containing some interesting chapters of my life.

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