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Keeping it 100: What can be done to recruit and retain Black moderators?

People in Project

Jasmine Walker 
2023 DCSL/CCSRE Technology & Racial Equity Practitioner Fellow

Project Description:

Reddit Inc. changed its content policy in 2020 to take a harder stance against various forms of discrimination, including racism. One issue moderators of color brought up repeatedly is the lack of Black or POC (people of color)representation in moderator positions, especially in the larger and more popular subreddits. They described instances, which I have witnessed personally, in which they reported racism that was obvious to them to a majority white moderator team only to be told that the content was not racist and would remain. Meanwhile, majority white mod teams say they have a very hard time finding Black community members who want to help them moderate. What is keeping Black Reddit users from becoming moderators? For those that do decide to volunteer, what is their motivation? Can anything be changed or done to recruit more Black moderators? Content policies are toothless without culturally competent moderators, primarily moderators of color. I want to know why Black social media users do or do not decide to become volunteer moderators, what could be changed to make more Black people interested in being a moderator, and what causes Black mods to keep going or quit. For those that quit, I want to explore if anything could have been done to retain them for a longer period of time.