At the end of June, the core research team – Graham Smith, Michael Morrell and Paolo Spada – met for the first time face-to-face rather than virtually. The meeting established a preliminary timeline. We aim to have an initial platform ready for October to begin user testing, which will end user testing by Christmas. That means by March we can have updated the platform and start the experiment. We also discussed at length the role of comment moderators. Should moderation be ex-ante? Many media comment platforms moderate contributors’ initial comments before they go live to ensure they are respectful and understand the rules of the platform. Depending on the level of comments, we should be able to do that with one facilitator for the European Time Zone and facilitator for the US time zone. The deliberatorium has generally been used with ex-ante facilitation whereas Pol.is is thinking about crowd moderation. We are weighing up the options. Do you have any evidence that could help us?
Welcome to our development diary. As you know from our previous post, we received funding to test new ways of improve the comment section of online news. In this space, we will track what we are doing and how the project is developing. Our plan is to test the platforms from September until the end of the year in Europe and the US. Later in 2018 we will engage a global online community of citizens in the main experimental phase. This diary will provide updates on what’s happening!
Graham Smith, Michael Morrell, and Paolo Spada