Community Begins Where Moderation Ends: Peer Support and Its Implications for Community-Based Rehabilitation

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Moderation systems of online games often follow a retributive model inspired by real-world criminal justice, expecting that punishments can help users to reform behavior. However, decades of criminological research show that punishments alone do not work and call for a rehabilitative approach, such as community-based rehabilitation (CBR), to help offenders transform their minds and behavioral patterns. Motivated by this call, we explore how moderated users view punishments in a community context and how other community members respond in League of Legends (LoL), one of the largest online games. Specifically, we focus on how peer support is sought and provided on the /r/LeagueOfLegends subreddit, the largest LoL-related online community. Our content analysis of player discussions characterized the communication between moderated users and peers as informative, constructive, and reflexive. We highlight the importance of involving community in moderation systems and discuss implications for designing CBR mechanisms that could enhance moderation systems.

Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI ’24
Renkai Ma
Renkai Ma
Mixed-methods HCI Researcher

I use human‑centered desgin approaches and mixed methods to study platform moderation with users, moderators, and policy experts to direct better design and policy‑making changes for online communities.