Social media sites like Reddit, Discord, and Clubhouse utilize a community-reliant approach to content moderation. Under this model, volunteer moderators are tasked with setting and enforcing content rules within the platforms' sub-communities. However, few mechanisms exist to ensure that the rules set by moderators reflect the values of their community. Misalignments between users and moderators can be detrimental to community health. Yet little quantitative work has been done to evaluate the prevalence or nature of user-moderator misalignment. Through a survey of 798 users on r/ChangeMyView, we evaluate user-moderator alignment at the level of policy-awareness (does users know what the rules are?), practice-awareness (do users know how the rules are applied?) and policy-/practice-support (do users agree with the rules and how they are applied?). We find that policy-support is high, while practice-support is low - using a hierarchical Bayesian model we estimate the correlation between community opinion and moderator decisions to range from .14 to .45 across subreddit rules. Surprisingly, these correlations were only slightly higher when users were asked to predict moderator actions, demonstrating low awareness of moderation practices. Our findings demonstrate the need for careful analysis of user-moderator alignment at multiple levels. We argue that future work should focus on building tools to empower communities to conduct these analyses themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3610077
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
StatePublished - Oct 4 2023


  • content moderation
  • content regulation
  • user-moderator alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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