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Introducing community guidelines and moderators

Our community is filled with language learners from all across the globe. The forum has become an interesting part of the learning process on Duolingo. As our community grows, we want to make sure we're all working towards making Duolingo the best language learning community in the world. We've written some Community Guidelines that we think are pretty reasonable. Take a read here: http://duolingo.com/#/guidelines

We're also excited to let you know about our new community moderator program. Some of our most active members in the discussions will now be helping us moderate and grow our community. What does 'moderate' mean at this point? It means welcoming and helping new members, making sure that our community guidelines are upheld and adding to the already rich conversations taking place across the forum. A green star on a member's picture signifies that the person is a community mod. We're in the early stages of involving our community in moderation and will soon let you know about more opportunities to become a moderator.

As always, let us know your feedback, questions and suggestions.

April 6, 2013



Okay, time for some suggestions:

  1. Highlight new comments that appeared since last thread viewing. This would be helpful both for moderators and for users to see what's new when they don't follow the topic.

  2. In the discussion list, show time of last answer instead of creation time. I'm not interested when the topic was created originally, but it would be useful to see that the last answer was posted for instance 2 hours ago. If I checked the forum 1 hour ago, there is clearly nothing new in this topic so I need not open it.

  3. Make a "Feed" tab in discussions that will show the full texts of new comments with the time of their posting.

[may be continued...]


Maybe the moderators could introduce themselves to the community?


Great idea, but in a new thread, this is turning into a mess :P


Good idea! I opened a thread for this: http://duolingo.com/#comment/308626


The term Moderator is a bit loosely defined. Are they required to help new members out with everything? By making sure that the community guidelines are upheld, does it mean that they can edit/delete other users comments or threads?

The community guidelines are very nicely written and laid out: it would be beneficial to both Moderators and other members of the Duolingo community if there were also Moderator Guidelines as well.


So we have guidelines as well for moderators. We're not ready to publish them on the site yet, but as the program grows we will. To clarify: moderators can delete comments that do not uphold our guidelines (not discussions).


I am almost perfect in German. I actually come from Germany. The reason I came here at first was just too keep up to date with my language skills. And then I found out how great everything was here, and decided to do my spanish and will also do French. That being said, is there a place where someone can apply to be a mod? Thanks :)


Great idea! Many would wish to aspire to this, including me, if ever I could know enough. Several points: How are you going to test a potential moderator's ability?, To what level are you going to allow them to moderate (eg basic, intermediate, advanced etc.?) How are you going to monitor and audit performance? What support systems will you have to allow rapid referral and consultation to peers? What educational input can you put in place to facilltate this? How will you feed back performance data to improve quality?


Those are lots of great questions! I guess you guys haven't figured everything out yet, but please give me a heads up when you do, I'm really interested in helping out!


Thanks for the guidelines.... sensible, reasonable and much appreciated.


You're welcome. Glad to hear.


Nicely written!

There appears to be a small glitch after a post is deleted though: in opera and chromium (haven't tried any others), a spare left curly brace can be seen below the post's button row. Looking at the deleted thread in this topic, even my later reply to the parent of the deleted posts shows this small extraneus brace. Can anyone confirm?


Yes it is there in Firefox. And Safari on iPad. Clearly in the HTML source


Already fixed. :)


I've just logged out to look at my own avatar with the green star. That thing over my eye made me laugh. Maybe it's time to take a new shot of myself for web :D




Don't moderators see moderators with a green star?


Other moderators, yes, but not themselves. Luis promised to fix that on Monday.


Just one small suggestion. Maybe make the notification circle on the Stream tab Red(orange etc. something noticeable) When there is something new?


Interesting! Good idea :)


Thanks! Having more obvious colors helps people notice it more( at least for me it does)


Hi kristinemc, would you mind confirming what I believe to be true about moderation?

My understanding is that the Duolingo forum is monitored almost constantly by humans and that community standards are rigorously enforced. I'm guess poor behavior such as bullying would not be tolerated?


I thought the green star meant guru, not policeman.


We do not want moderators to act like policemen. We'd like them to be particularly savvy at a language and be able to help others learn in the community.


As mentioned.... its for people who spend much time on that. I think its a good idea to choose trustworthy people for this kind of work. I've seen a few comments on portuguese area which could be considered rude. It's good to select and restrict comments. Then, people will think twice before posting something!


I would love to be a community moderator. Can I, please? :)


Sure, but you need to prove yourself first. As was explained, they want people proficient in foreign languages that are very helpful to the community. Duolingo has thousands of users, so how could they find such individuals — how could you become one? Language savvyness is easy, they can estimate it by just checking the levels associated with accounts, but the community bit is harder. I guess they just summed all the comment votes to see who is really contributing back. It doesn't matter if they did it any other way, since adding insightful, calm and helpful comments is just what community work here is all about. So do that, be the next "care bear" and master a language or two on the way or you will not be able to help that many. When the time comes, you will be reckognised and made a moderator.


That sounds great!


What a great idea. Love this site. I can not tell you how much fun it is for me to learn french at my own pace and at home.


I totally agree with you! I've always wanted to learn French but could never find a good website, so I gave up for a while. Then my friend and I were coming home from a meeting we had, and she told me about Duolingo. Now I can finally learn French, and it provides some experience for me to know how it's being pronounced, and stuff like that... Thanks to all the people who helped make Duolingo what it is! I can never thank you enough!


Thank you for continuing to improve the site. So far, there has been a good job of removing unnecessary comments but I think moderators are a great addition as the site grows. A few questions about moderators. Is moderation a permanent status if one moderates well even if their activeness drops greatly? I know moderators from experiences from other sites each moderate differently, will moderators' activity be monitored to keep standards consistent and prevent power abuse? Again, thank you for paying attention to the community and helping out.


The Duolingo team does monitor moderators and definitely will be making sure we continue to all remain on the same page in regards to goals, approach, and tone. We are excited to be involving the community as we continue to grow.


How can you become a moderator? Do you have to pass a test, or...


No, moderators were picked among the most active and helpful members. I don't know if in the future you will be able to apply for moderator, but there might still be a prerequisite to fit that description.


Is Duolingo still picking moderators?


Remember that we're still testing out the moderator program. Information about how people can apply to be a moderator will be shared soon.


Yup, Lenkvist is right. Might as well wait a little bit before starting queries.


Thanks Tiago and Lenkvist. We're working on more ways for the community to get involved in moderation, and we'll make sure to keep you all in the loop as to how to get involved. :)


I can't know that, you'd have to ask someone from the staff. Ask kristinemc, the creator of this discussion.

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