News organizations can choose to pre-moderate comments, meaning that comments are vetted before being posted, or post-moderate, meaning that comments are analysed shortly after being posted and attacks on journalists are immediately removed as well as any other content in breach of the Community Guidelines.
A key factor in deciding whether to implement pre- or post-moderation is the likelihood of receiving problematic posts. If the likelihood is low, post-moderation may suffice.
In choosing pre- or post-moderation, news organizations need to consider that having user comments appear quickly is important to ensure a lively exchange of idea and opinions, which is the ultimate goal of comment sections.
It is recommended that news organizations adopt a mixed model. Ideally, this model includes software to block posts highlighted as potentially problematic from initially appearing online until they are assessed by a moderator who will make the final decision of whether to publish them or not. However, even when software is used to highlight problematic posts, moderators should nevertheless aim to read all posted comments.
Under no circumstances should user posts be edited or have single words or parts removed. If any part of a post is deemed to be in breach of the Community Guidelines, the post should be removed in its entirety.
News organizations can also choose to pre- or post-moderate on the basis of the context as relates to both the topic and the journalist. In the case of a planned article by a journalist who has been regularly targeted or about a topic that tends to generate controversy, news organizations should consider pre-moderation to pre-empt abuse.