As the world’s biggest online student community, we’re dedicated to making sure our users feel safe and at home on our site. To do this, we have a number of processes in place.
Moderation on TSR
On The Student Room, we operate a community-based moderation system. Every thread, post and private message feature a ‘Report’ button, and we rely on the community to let us know when content isn’t okay. We also have a number of automatic triggers, where our system automatically reports certain content which looks like it could be in breach of our community guidelines.
Once something is reported, our professional moderation team reviews the content in line with both our community guidelines and moderation policies. If the content is found to be in breach of community guidelines, it might be edited or removed, and the person who posted it may be given a warning as part of our moderation carding system. In any circumstances where it is identified that a member is in serious breach of our guidelines, or the law, they may be banned and/or reported to the relevant authorities.
Safeguarding the wellbeing of the TSR community
Everyday on TSR we see young people support each other through the challenges life can throw at them. We’re proud that TSR is a place where these connections can happen, so it’s important that all of our members are able to receive the real-world support they might need, while at the same time safeguarding the rest of our community and any vulnerable users against potentially triggering conversations. We do this in a number of ways:
- We have a moderation policy, with specific processes for sensitive or controversial topics
- We have a dedicated Peer Support Volunteer (PSV) team who follow processes to ensure users get the support they need. The PSV team are dedicated members of our volunteer team who are trained by The Samaritans to have peer-to-peer conversations with vulnerable members posting about self-harm or suicide. To safeguard the rest of the community, we remove these kinds of posts from the public site, and have a private conversation with them, ensuring they have links to professional support services to help them.
- Where possible, we partner with health professionals to share valuable and authoritative advice with our community about their health and wellbeing
- We have a welfare and escalation policy which is activated in the event that a serious risk to a member of community is identified. All volunteers and TSR staff are trained in this policy to ensure the safety of our community is paramount.
We take online safety seriously. Every member of staff at TSR, support team member and section leader is required to hold a current Enhanced DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate (this includes a working with children check), and to renew it every three years.
The Community Team
The Community Team (CT) looks after The Student Room community on the forums. They are focused on making sure everyone on the site is finding it helpful and having the best experience possible. The CT line manages the TSR volunteers and is also part of an expert team of moderators who manage the report and moderation queue to ensure any issues are dealt with swiftly and safely. They also provide feedback to members who have broken site rules and deal with any complaints that are received in the site’s private feedback forum.
There are a team of over 150 dedicated volunteers who work with us as the TSR Support Team, to help keep our community super friendly and useful. Usually, these are young people themselves, who’ve also received help on TSR at some stage, and have stuck around to continuing supporting their peers. All volunteers can be recognised by their role user title underneath their avatars. There’s a few different roles within our volunteer team:
- Community Assistants (CAs) – You can normally find these lovely people in specific forums, helping out by giving great advice, chatting loads and making new members feel welcome. If someone were new to Volunteering with TSR, this would be their first role on the team. CAs have a few tools to help them keep the forums tidy, this means they move discussions to the most appropriate forums across the site.
- Support Team (ST) – These brilliant members have normally been around TSR for over a year and have usually progressed to Support Team from their roles as CAs. They are amazing at running various projects around the site, sharing their expertise, giving great advice, mentoring our CA team, and helping keep their sections helpful and productive.
- Section Leader (SL) – This team are the leaders of each section of TSR, and work with the TSR Community Team (in the office) to help look after the volunteer teams. They’re really dedicated in making sure the TSR community has all the support it needs and making sure all the other volunteers are having a great time. Section Leaders have been through all the safeguarding procedures listed above, been part of the TSR family for a considerable length of time and we’ve met them all in real life.
Official reps on TSR
On The Student Room, there is a community of ‘Official Reps.’ These accounts are normally held by universities and brands who are on TSR to give expert and authoritative advice to young people. Like our members, when they sign up they agree to the site’s terms and conditions.
The people operating these accounts are staff members of the organisation, and they can be recognised by the official gold tick and user title under their avatar. All official reps are trained by the community team so they are well-equipped to be really helpful to students.
Similar to Official Reps, ‘Student Ambassadors’ are generally from organisations like universities, and are on TSR to provide helpful advice from the student perspective. These ambassadors are students themselves, who work with their universities to share their experience with other young people. Student Ambassadors can be recognised by their user title underneath the avatar. Like Official Reps, students are given training by the community team and also agree to the site’s terms and conditions when they begin using the site.
If you have any questions about the how The Student Room is moderated please in our Ask the Community Team forum.