OTW News Post Moderation Policy

With approximately 7 million registered users on AO3 and thousands of OTW members, news posts get more engagement than ever. We love when users express their thoughts or concerns regarding the news we publish! However, the comment sections on some of our previous news posts have not been a welcoming or safe space for engagement.

In recent months, we have developed a News Post Moderation policy and recruited a team of volunteers who you may see commenting on posts in the future. We would like to announce the key points of the policies our News Post Moderators will be following when monitoring the comment sections of our News Posts.

Comments on news posts may be frozen or hidden by a News Post Moderator if they contain:

  • Spam or unsolicited advertising
  • Content about topics outside of fans, fandom, and Internet policy, and which would not fall under the purview of the OTW
  • Misinformation (particularly about the OTW) with the potential to harm or mislead others
  • Explicit/graphic sexual or violent language
  • Attempts to draw negative attention to a specific individual or fanwork
  • Insults and personal attacks towards other users
  • Inflammatory or speculative language that may result in harassment
  • Violations of the site’s Terms of Service

Please note that the above is not an exhaustive list of all comments that may be actioned.

In addition, any comments on AO3 News Posts that violate the Terms of Service may be reported to the Policy & Abuse committee.

OTW volunteers will respond to comments using an Official OTW committee account to clarify points of confusion or engage with user feedback. Comments from Official accounts will be clearly marked on AO3 with a bolded (Official) after the username, and on the OTW website with a signature identifying the relevant OTW committee or team. For example, comments from News Post Moderators will use the “OTW_News_Post_Moderation (Official)” account on AO3. On the OTW website, they’ll be signed with their name followed by “OTW News Post Moderator”.

If an OTW volunteer comments on a news post using a personal account, that volunteer is not acting in an official capacity. Such comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW, nor do they constitute OTW policy.

We hope that our users will welcome this policy announcement and find that it improves their experience on the AO3 and OTW websites.

UPDATE: If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the News Post Moderation team directly using our contact form.

  1. noaiyimaomao commented:


  2. scarrlet commented:

    one thing i’m concerned about is how volunteers will handle comments seeking to address harmful stereotypes or tropes in a work, which are often misconstrued as harassment. i’m talking about comments that explain how something in a work is racist, with calm, measured language, usually written by someone who’s a fan of the author. often, these comments are ignored or used as evidence of harassment. i understand comments will be handled on a case by case basis, but i hope volunteers are prepared to deal with the nuance required for such cases, and don’t leave POC in the dirt yet again.

    case in point: someone will probably get mad at me for this comment

    • TMN commented:

      Hi scarrlet,

      News Post Moderators only have purview for the comment section under news posts. We do not monitor or moderate comments left on works.

      If you have concerns regarding a specific work, or its notes or comments sections, please contact our Policy & Abuse committee via the Policy Questions & Abuse Reports form linked at the bottom of every page on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/abuse_reports/new

      OTW News Post Moderator