1. bookVolume 10 (2022): Edition 1 (April 2022)
Détails du magazine
License
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2346-5522
Première parution
15 Dec 2013
Périodicité
1 fois par an
Langues
Anglais
access type Accès libre

Participatory Cultures of Digital Games: The Double-Edged Sword of Being a Reddit Community Moderator

Publié en ligne: 09 May 2022
Volume & Edition: Volume 10 (2022) - Edition 1 (April 2022)
Pages: 74 - 94
Détails du magazine
License
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2346-5522
Première parution
15 Dec 2013
Périodicité
1 fois par an
Langues
Anglais
Abstract

Volunteer community moderators are at the centre of a multitude of conflicting views in the media and society, while being continually exposed to inappropriate content and risking their mental wellbeing. On Reddit.com, their specific interest in a topic drives them to volunteer for moderation responsibilities to nurture the participa-tory community; however, this puts them in the uncertain position of being neither a member of the community nor a representative of the social media platform tied to the community. By adopting Nico Carpentier’s concept of participation as a site of political–ideological negotiation, this article explores the precarious conditions and expectations of community moderators around digital games after the 2020 COVID-19 struggles, with more people turning to social media, which increases demand for platform moderation. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with community moderators associated with online media communities (subreddits) of different games on the social media platform Reddit. It draws two conclusions: Firstly, the field of subreddit moderation involves multiple actors, such as content creators, content generators, moderators, and game studios. Here, moderators hold an assumed absolute power in two processes of decision-making: (1) ensure that content abides by the sitewide rules and subreddit specific rules; and (2) promote content that is sensitive to the subreddit’s cultural context. In decision-making moments, the tools that are afforded to moderators from the Reddit platform put moderators at a disadvantage, as they are forced to implement their decisions using negative reinforcement as opposed to achieving change in the subreddit through positive reinforcement. Secondly, community moderators exist within a participatory process of checks and balances, making any moderation actions a double-edged sword where any intervention by moderators can result in backlash or disagreement from content creators and content generators, and material advantages largely determine actors’ involvement in these participatory processes.

Keywords

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