Overview of Community Moderation

Fizz strives to create a safe environment for free expression for all of our community members. To do this, we rigorously enforce our Community Guidelines in service of keeping our platform open for positive discussion and connections. Enforcement is driven by the trained community moderators at each school. These community moderators are fellow students who voluntarily work to keep their communities safe, authentic, and fun by taking down and voting to remove content that violates Guidelines.

However, sometimes we need to do more to keep communities safe, especially when dealing with repeat violators. In these cases, we rely on a punishment system separate from our volunteer moderators. These punishments can take the form of mutes, and, in severe cases, account suspensions.

Read on for more details about both our community moderators and punishment. To file a punishment appeal, please fill out the form located at this link here. Please note that we rarely, if ever, reverse a punishment decision and do not actively monitor the appeals inbox.

📜 Our philosophy on moderation

Overall, we at Fizz believe safety is the core of our platform. Any content moderation or user penalization is strictly to uphold our belief in safety and not to retaliate or silence individuals. We believe in the power of community norms and consensus moderation. This is why we recruit moderators from active community members and why no one volunteer moderator can ever unilaterally remove a post. With this in mind, our approach to moderation and punishment is focused on two things: stopping offending content from reaching the feed and providing feedback to users on what’s appropriate for a given Fizz community.

⚙️ What does moderation look like at Fizz?

We start by sourcing a large team of students at each school to moderate individual Fizz communities. These students are randomly selected from a pool of Fizz users that are active and have had a history of good behavior. All moderators are trained to be objective and only remove content that violates our Community Guidelines. These moderators are also regularly vetted by the Fizz team.

Moderators review all reports, and no single mod can remove a post without approval by other mods. Instead, decisions are made via a democratic voting system. In other words, if your post was removed, it means a majority of moderators agreed your content violated a community guideline. Moderators can never see another student’s identity and are not made aware of the other moderator identities.

Our punishment system, conversely, analyzes the holistic history of a user’s behavior to deliver the appropriate response ****to repeat offenders. Punishment decisions are separate from our Community Moderation voting system and no single individual can unilaterally punish a user. Punishments come in two forms: mutes, where users can’t post or comment but can still view content on the app, and bans, where a user cannot access any part of the app.

An example notification for a muted user

An example suspended user

A user will always receive a mute before they receive a suspension. Only users who have repeatedly been muted in a relatively short period of time are eligible for suspension. Mutes and suspensions will take the form of 1 hour, 3 hour, 6 hour, 1 day, and 1 week punishments. Severe, repeat offenders will be reviewed for an indefinite or even permanent mute or suspension.

⚙️ How does our moderation system assess punishment?

Our punishment system analyzes the holistic history of a user’s behavior to deliver the appropriate response to repeat offenders. Remember, punishment decisions are separate from our Community Moderation voting system. In general, we consider four elements when determining a punishment:

  1. Number of violations — You will rarely be punished for your first or second content violation. The exception would be for severe violations, such as threats of violence or hate speech. We know everyone makes mistakes and content moderation is rarely as black-and-white as we’d like it to be. Therefore, punishments are almost always reserved for repeat offenders with a track record of severe violations.

  2. Type of violation — While we consider all of our Community Guidelines important, we recognize some types of content have a higher potential for harm. Therefore, content violations like misinformation are judged differently than hate speech or bullying. All violations types are considered when recommending punishments, but some content violations are judged more severely than others. Additionally, repeat violations of the same type will receive progressively more severe punishments.

  3. Time between violations — The timing and nature of repeat posts is also critical to determining punishment. Remember, our core philosophy is about preserving safety. Therefore, repeat violations in short succession (think an hour or less) will more likely result in punishment. This is to prevent “dogpiling” scenarios where a Fizz community feed becomes so flooded with offensive content that our moderators may struggle to respond to reports.

  4. Overall user history — A final consideration is the holistic profile of a user. Again, we understand that mistakes happen. In social media, mistakes are more likely to happen the more active a poster you are. Therefore, we like to consider the overall contributions of community members when recommending punishment. That doesn’t mean that so-called “power users” are immune from mutes. It just means we try and consider a user’s whole history of app interaction rather than just their worst content.

Also of note: Fizz reserves the right to assign, reduce, or remove punishments as necessary to preserve the safety of our communities.

⏸️ What to do if you’ve been punished

Mutes and suspensions are the result of multiple infractions, so usually the the only thing to do is wait out the punishment. Take the time to review our Guidelines. We appreciate your support of your Fizz community and hope you’ll contribute more positively in the future.

If for some reason you believe your mute or suspension is unjustified, we do have an appeals process in place. Please understand that we rarely, if ever, reverse a punishment decision and do not prioritize responding to appeal requests. However, in extreme circumstances, we are willing to review specifics on a case-by-case basis. To file a punishment appeal, please fill out the form located at this link here.


Still have questions? See our FAQ here or reach out to info@fizzsocial.app with your inquiry.