TSR supports Black Lives Matter

Watch
BlinkyBill
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#1
Hi everyone,

Following the death of George Floyd in the US in May and the subsequent social dialogue around race and the Black Lives Matter movement, I wanted to share an update from TSR.

At The Student Room, our mantra is ‘students first’ and our mission is to help the next generation become the best versions of themselves. If we’re to succeed in this, we must clearly acknowledge the inequalities which exist for black students, and that black history is too often silenced. All students deserve to succeed.

While the majority of our community are open-minded and supportive, we’ve been saddened to see an increase in racist and inflammatory posting on our forums, and it’s been tough to manage this. Unfortunately, the internet can often embolden those who seek a platform for derogatory views, so let’s be clear - racist views are not welcome here and we’ll be taking steps to manage this better in the future.

We firmly believe that communities like ours can, and do, change lives for the better, and we acknowledge the important role we have to play here. This is the beginning. We are reaching out to experts and support organisations to work with us and increase our own learning; and setting out a roadmap of steps we’ll be taking moving forward.

We’d also like to invite your thoughts. We think we have an opportunity here for young people’s voices and especially young black students’ stories to be shared. As a community, we can work together to make this world a better place. Tell us your ideas.


BlinkyBill
Head of Community

[EDIT]

Progress update - 25 June
Last edited by BlinkyBill; 1 week ago
28
reply
BlinkyBill
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#2
For ease, I wanted to post some information here in relation to the point I made about moderation above.

If you come across racist posting or trolling there are a few simple things you can do to help. If you do see members who you think might be 'trolling' (eg. are often new accounts, make lots of posts about similar things, and may post inflammatory comments in order to 'get a reaction'), or any members making inflammatory comments, the best thing you can do is not respond to them. While it might feel right to challenge those people back, this very often results in an escalation of the situation and further inflammatory comments. Instead, please just use the Report button (in the top right of all threads, posts, VMs and PMs). This means our Moderation Team are much more likely to get to the post quickly, we can see if lots of people are reporting the same stuff, and the conversation doesn't spiral so quickly. Members who are breaking community guidelines will then receive cards (or bans) where relevant.

Here are some helpful links to understand about our moderation policies, including around race and discrimination:
Community Guidelines
Rules in detail
Moderation policy
Forum rules and guidelines

Thank you to everyone who contributes to such a positive and supportive environment here on TSR. We’ll keep you guys updated with anything further as we go, but in the meantime we’d love to hear your thoughts.
0
reply
A Rolling Stone
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by BlinkyBill)
For ease, I wanted to post some information here in relation to the point I made about moderation above.

If you come across racist posting or trolling there are a few simple things you can do to help. If you do see members who you think might be 'trolling' (eg. are often new accounts, make lots of posts about similar things, and may post inflammatory comments in order to 'get a reaction'), or any members making inflammatory comments, the best thing you can do is not respond to them. While it might feel right to challenge those people back, this very often results in an escalation of the situation and further inflammatory comments. Instead, please just use the Report button (in the top right of all threads, posts, VMs and PMs). This means our Moderation Team are much more likely to get to the post quickly, we can see if lots of people are reporting the same stuff, and the conversation doesn't spiral so quickly. Members who are breaking community guidelines will then receive cards (or bans) where relevant.

Here are some helpful links to understand about our moderation policies, including around race and discrimination:
Community Guidelines
Rules in detail
Moderation policy
Forum rules and guidelines

Thank you to everyone who contributes to such a positive and supportive environment here on TSR. We’ll keep you guys updated with anything further as we go, but in the meantime we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Everyone should support BLM in principle, particularly with regards to the situation in the US of police brutality, but i hope the actions, assertions and personnel of the BLM movement will remain open to criticism where appropriate and this will not be written-off as racism
6
reply
JDINCINERATOR
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Hi everyone,

Following the death of George Floyd in the US in May and the subsequent social dialogue around race and the Black Lives Matter movement, I wanted to share an update from TSR.

At The Student Room, our mantra is ‘students first’ and our mission is to help the next generation become the best versions of themselves. If we’re to succeed in this, we must clearly acknowledge the inequalities which exist for black students, and that black history is too often silenced. All students deserve to succeed.

While the majority of our community are open-minded and supportive, we’ve been saddened to see an increase in racist and inflammatory posting on our forums, and it’s been tough to manage this. Unfortunately, the internet can often embolden those who seek a platform for derogatory views, so let’s be clear - racist views are not welcome here and we’ll be taking steps to manage this better in the future.

We firmly believe that communities like ours can, and do, change lives for the better, and we acknowledge the important role we have to play here. This is the beginning. We are reaching out to experts and support organisations to work with us and increase our own learning; and setting out a roadmap of steps we’ll be taking moving forward.

We’d also like to invite your thoughts. We think we have an opportunity here for young people’s voices and especially young black students’ stories to be shared. As a community, we can work together to make this world a better place. Tell us your ideas.


BlinkyBill
Head of Community
Everybody is jumping aboard the Black Lives Matter movement-and it's easy to see why people do-because they want to help the cause and level the playing field in an attempt to create equality. However, I believe all lives matter and the Black Lives Matter movement as much as it seems like a worthy and justifiable cause, has compelled violent and unruly behaviour as well. It seems the injustice dealt by a single person's murder has blown up to create more violence, unrest and unease. Also this issue is an American problem because it has originated in America-why are we following suit? Are we miniature America enough that we can't think and act by our own volition? Oh well when things trend in the news and on Twitter we're all meant to march in lockstep-guess that's how this parade of life is meant to go.
2
reply
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
Everyone should support BLM in principle, particularly with regards to the situation in the US of police brutality, but i hope the actions, assertions and personnel of the BLM movement will remain open to criticism where appropriate and this will not be written-off as racism
(To be clear, I don't speak for TSR or anyone working for it, I'm a volunteer)

I expect that Moderation on this will generally follow a case by case basis. The language that is used in posts is often very important to determine whether something is offensive or not. But debating the actions of individuals, provided that it adheres to the rules etc. linked above, is usually fine.

(Original post by JDINCINERATOR)
Everybody is jumping aboard the Black Lives Matter movement-and it's easy to see why people do-because they want to help the cause and level the playing field in an attempt to create equality. However, I believe all lives matter and the Black Lives Matter movement as much as it seems like a worthy and justifiable cause, has compelled violent and unruly behaviour as well. It seems the injustice dealt by a single person's murder has blown up to create more violence, unrest and unease. Also this issue is an American problem because it has originated in America-why are we following suit? Are we miniature America enough that we can't think and act by our own volition? Oh well when things trend in the news and on Twitter we're all meant to march in lockstep-guess that's how this parade of life is meant to go.
These discussions may be better suited to the Debate and Current Affairs section than in this thread. This is more just information about what TSR is doing.
1
reply
Stacey Tracey
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 weeks ago
#6
If the Student Room supports BLM, why is there not more posts on this thread? I fail to see the point of creating this post, if it doesn't have countless replies.
0
reply
RedGiant
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by Stacey Tracey)
If the Student Room supports BLM, why is there not more posts on this thread? I fail to see the point of creating this post, if it doesn't have countless replies.
It's a standard response from a business. "We are reaching out to experts and support organisations to work with us and increase our own learning; and setting out a roadmap of steps we’ll be taking moving forward" sounds like something a CEO would say. I.e. not really saying anything.
2
reply
RebelDreaming
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 weeks ago
#8
All lives matter.
3
reply
harrysbar
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by Stacey Tracey)
If the Student Room supports BLM, why is there not more posts on this thread? I fail to see the point of creating this post, if it doesn't have countless replies.
580 people have viewed it in a day so that's a lot of interest in reading the content.

And when you create a post you are not responsible for whether it attracts "countless replies" or not - there is no way to predict in advance how many people will comment on your thread or when
1
reply
999tigger
Badges: 19
#10
Report 3 weeks ago
#10
Does TSR support black lives matters in breaking the lockdown and spreading covid 19?
Does TSR support BLM in vandalising war memorials and statues?
Does TSR support BLM in attacking the police?
Does TSR accept its collective guilt and benefit from the slave trade and racism?
10
reply
username4995288
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#11
Report 3 weeks ago
#11
(Original post by RebelDreaming)
All lives matter.
They should. But in the eyes of the system, black lives don't matter enough yet. That's why the campaign exists, bc we want all lives to matter
2
reply
harrysbar
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 3 weeks ago
#12
(Original post by The King3)
Black people don't care about other lives mattering, that's why they hate the 'All Lives Matter' slogan.
That's not why - I had it explained to me that the slogan means more like Black Lives Matter Too - so to reply with All Lives Matter is missing the point because yes all lives do matter, but this campaign is about recognising that black lives matter as much as white lives
2
reply
TimmyTurnah
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#13
Report 3 weeks ago
#13
Name:  efgregrteg.jpg
Views: 19
Size:  95.1 KBName:  123412.jpg
Views: 25
Size:  59.4 KBName:  erfef.jpg
Views: 27
Size:  88.9 KB
3
reply
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 weeks ago
#14
Please take this discussion to the Debate and Current Affairs Section. This thread is about TSR's policy on the subject and nothing more.
0
reply
Eyedea
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 weeks ago
#15
Thou shalt not

Bring up Black on Black crime
Bring up fact Blacks commit a lot of violent crime which relates more deaths by police
Interracial crime, which Blacks are the opposite of victims of..

And let me guess my views are extreme, hate speech right?
:rolleyes:
1
reply
TheStarboy
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 weeks ago
#16
(Original post by Eyedea)
Thou shalt not

Bring up Black on Black crime
Bring up fact Blacks commit a lot of violent crime which relates more deaths by police
Interracial crime, which Blacks are the opposite of victims of..

And let me guess my views are extreme, hate speech right?
:rolleyes:
Why are you obsessed with race? Do you have something against black people or something?
0
reply
1st superstar
  • Political Ambassador
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 weeks ago
#17
#BLM
0
reply
BlinkyBill
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#18
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#18
Hi everyone,

I wanted to share an update following the statement we made about TSR’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As planned, we’ve spent the past few weeks reviewing where we’re at, and I wanted to share our plans at this stage.

Something that’s becoming clear to us is that a lot of the issues we’re looking at which affect black students on TSR, bear similarities to other vulnerable or minority groups on TSR. As you guys will know, sadly we do see other kinds of discrimination in relation to others in our community. So as we continue working through the improvements we plan to make, we are hopeful (and think it’s very important) that what we’re doing will have broader positive benefits for many diverse groups.

As a start we need to address the toxicity that currently exists on TSR. It’s not a simple thing to do, changing culture, and it does take time. So while we continue to be tight on staff resource (esp with Results and Clearing coming), we’ve all agreed this is one of our top priorities.

I wanted to share with you some of the things we’re working on.

  • Finding and removing old threads that are racist (and wouldn’t be ok in current guidelines). It’s not nice to see some of the stuff that has gone un-reported over the years. Unfortunately as a predominantly community-moderated site, things can slip through the cracks if it doesn’t make it to the report queue. This is an epic job and it’s very hard to narrow down all our content (we’ve tested a bunch of ways but are yet to find a sustainable option). If you guys see any old stuff which obviously breaks community guidelines, please use the report button to alert our Moderation Team.
  • Updated the swear filter with specific racial slurs - this has been done
  • Temporary measure of ‘quarantining’ D&CA forums, except Educational Debate. This means that while the forums are still open and visible, threads from these forums will no longer appear in the Latest, Trending, Related or MyFeed widgets. This is based on something similar we’ve done in the past with the Religion forum (though not quite the same), and is also similar to things sites like Reddit have done. In the short term, this is one of the most effective things we can do immediately to ensure people who come to TSR are not exposed to debate thread titles which are negative or triggering, unless they wish to enter the D&CA forum specifically. While we continue working on facilitating a cultural change in the D&CA forums, this measure helps create a safer environment for those wishing to use TSR to access support and get advice.
  • Audit of emojis. I mean… I think it’s pretty obvious why we need to do this.
  • Tech investigations - we’ve had some really helpful suggestions from volunteers, forum helpers and community members of improvements we could make to current functionality that could help us here. I’ve raised requests to investigate all of these, plus a number of other suggestions. Full disclosure, the tech team is operating on very minimal resource right now, but we have secured some time to start reviewing and working on this as a strategic priority over the next 6 weeks.
  • Review of race, religion, gender, sexuality guidelines. Our Moderation Team do a great job of moderating to current guidelines, but it’s clear the guidelines themselves need to be reviewed. This does take time as it needs a lot of consideration, and by more people than just us. We’ll be getting input from specialist organisations, using examples from real conversations in the community happening currently, working with our volunteers and using the results of the survey (below) to do this.
  • Add ‘trigger warning’ to the whole site label set
  • Survey of users to gain an understanding about people’s experiences when it comes to discrimination on TSR. We’ve never done anything quite like this before, but we really need to learn from our community. We need to understand what things would make TSR safer and more inclusive for a more diverse range of students. There’s a lot involved in putting a survey like this together (esp from a GDPR and market research ‘rules’ point of view), but I’m working on shaping this currently.

We’re also speaking with external specialists to support with training and policy guidelines development. There are other things we’d like to do, like hopefully a bunch of interesting content and awareness-raising, etc. But I just wanted to share with you where we’re at for now.

I’ll continue to post updates here about our progress on this project. Please refer to post 2 for any information regarding our current community guidelines, and please remember this thread isn’t the place to debate (please head to the D&CA forum if you wish to debate).


BlinkyBill
2
reply
DiddyDec
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#19
Report 1 week ago
#19
(Original post by BlinkyBill)
[*]Temporary measure of ‘quarantining’ D&CA forums, except Educational Debate. This means that while the forums are still open and visible, threads from these forums will no longer appear in the Latest, Trending, Related or MyFeed widgets. This is based on something similar we’ve done in the past with the Religion forum (though not quite the same), and is also similar to things sites like Reddit have done. In the short term, this is one of the most effective things we can do immediately to ensure people who come to TSR are not exposed to debate thread titles which are negative or triggering, unless they wish to enter the D&CA forum specifically. While we continue working on facilitating a cultural change in the D&CA forums, this measure helps create a safer environment for those wishing to use TSR to access support and get advice.
[*]Hopefully this means D&CA will get some active moderation rather than reactive, that place has turned into even more of a cesspit than it normally is.
0
reply
BlinkyBill
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 6 days ago
#20
(Original post by DiddyDec)
[*]Hopefully this means D&CA will get some active moderation rather than reactive, that place has turned into even more of a cesspit than it normally is.
[*]Yeah this is kind of the point of reviewing some of those more specific guidelines. It's being moderated according to current guidelines, but what we can see is that there's some policy changes that are needed to deal with this current scenario (and hopefully address the negative culture in there). It does take time to develop these though, and we need to get lots of feedback/consult a lot too, which is why we have some interim measures while we do that.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are you finding researching unis for 2021 entry?

I have been able to get all the information I need from online research (61)
19.18%
I have tried virtual events and found them useful (68)
21.38%
I have tried virtual events and did not find them useful (59)
18.55%
I would be interested in trying socially distanced or scaled down in person events (67)
21.07%
I want to but don't know where to start with researching unis for 2021 entry (31)
9.75%
I haven't started researching yet (32)
10.06%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise