World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

World Editors Forum provides guidance on how to manage online comments

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World Editors Forum provides guidance on how to manage online comments


The World Editors Forum is calling on editors and publishers world-wide to contribute to a new report on how best to manage online comments, including hate speech and potentially libellous statements, with the best practices to be presented at the World Editors Forum annual conference in Bangkok in June.

The Editors Forum is conducting the research on behalf of the Open Society Foundations.

“Managing reader comments on news sites online has become an increasing challenge as online communities have grown. For editors who believe in free speech, the rise in volume of postings on their platforms containing hate speech has become both an operational problem and ethical dilemma,” said Cherilyn Ireton, Executive Director of the World Editors Forum.

Stewart Chisholm, Associate Director of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Media Program, said that many media outlets around the world are being held liable for content posted on their sites by third parties.

“At the same time, given the fact that comments increasingly contain statements that could be construed as hate speech or libel, we believe that this WAN-IFRA study will be of particular importance in providing information about what successful models are being developed to moderate such content and ensure an effective balance between freedom of expression and ethics,” he said.

The researchers have quizzed editors from newspapers and news sites around the world on how they manage online comments and the tone of the online conversation. Editors and publishers who would like to be interviewed for the study can email Emma Goodman at

The World Editors Forum is the network for editors within the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The 20th World Editors Forum is being held from 2-5 June in Bangkok, Thailand, alongside the 65th World Newspaper Congress and 23rd World Advertising Forum. Full details about the events in Bangkok, including the full programme and registration information, can be found at

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Deputy CEO and Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 07. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail:

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