Society of Editors Online Moderation Guide Launch
The Society of Editors launched their Online Moderation Guide at the House of Commons on 10 September 2014. Communities Minister Stephen Williams praised the APPG Against Antisemitism for its role in inspiring the report and John Mann MP, chair of the APPG praised in turn, the Society of Editors for â€œstepping up to the mark in the fight against antisemitism and showing what civic society can do. Both Mann and Williams refered to the report as the start of an important conversation, with the Minister suggesting that online anonymity and enhanced registration requirements might be future important steps for newspaper comment board moderators to consider.
APPG members have been clear. They don’t want to inhibit freedom of expression but where good practice exists it should be highlighted and shared as widely as possible. Engendering a responsible online community is of significant importance.
Other than APPG chair John Mann MP and Communities Minister Stephen Williams MP, the audience was also addressed by Society of Editors President Ian Murray and Peter Cole, the author of the research.
The All-Party Inquiry into Antisemitism reported in 2006 and one of the recommendations (number 18) focussed on the media and the responsibility to have a sensible discourse on Judaism, anti-Zionism and the Middle East. As a result of the inquiry, the Labour government established the cross-Government working group on antisemitism and the coalition government committed at an early stage to keep that group going. In discussing recommendation 18, the APPG Against Antisemitism repeatedly raised online comment board moderation as an issue. DCLG as the secretariat to the cross-Whitehall group took this up with the Society of Editors and funded the production of the guide.