Vocal Moderation Updates
Publishing your stories faster than ever.
If you are a veteran Vocal+ Creator, you may have noticed changes recently in moderation protocol. It's likely your stories are being moderated faster than ever. This is not a coincidence.
Over the years, we have received numerous requests from Vocal+ Creators asking us to expedite the publishing of their work. You’ve played by the rules, pay for the service, and want to share your content with your followers as quickly as possible. We heard you and have made changes to honor that. We are actively refining our moderation process to put our most engaged Creators first. Our new moderation criteria evaluates each Creator on their Vocal+ status, submission history, and proven ability to follow the Community Guidelines. The turnaround time for Creators whose stories meet this criteria is now guaranteed within hours of submission. We believe this is a huge win for Creators and Readers alike.
Impact on Challenge Submissions
Some Creators have asked if the quicker moderation turnaround has any impact on whether their Challenge submissions are being read. As always, our curators and judges take the time to review each submission with care. The new moderation processes grant us even more time to review your incredible stories as they come in.
Formatting Reminders to Ensure Speedy Publication
Vocal has a variety of tools to help Creators tell their story in the best way possible: a format rich in form and content. We do require the following elements to be present in every story, and if any of these elements are missing from their respective fields, we will send the story back so that they can be added in. Below is a quick reminder of key formatting requirements for Vocal stories to be published:
- A title (something descriptive to encapsulate your work and grab the attention of readers)
- A subtitle (to help us categorize your content and to help you rank higher in search engines)
- Featured image or video (to illustrate your content and create an eye-catching thumbnail)
- A minimum of 600 words of content for stories (100 words for poetry)
On Word Count and Quality
The last bullet point above has been celebrated, debated, and sometimes hated by our Creators. Vocal is a long-form publishing platform. In the spirit of fostering engaged readership, we have word count minimums. Vocal stories are cherished by wide audiences and live in digital perpetuity unlike other popular short-form content. We believe that a story of at least 600 words informs higher quality content and commands better SEO.
Regarding quality, Vocal is a platform for authentic and genuine content creation and storytelling. No one wants to feel like they’re being scammed or taken advantage of while they're reading. Too many forced hyperlinks, unrelated product placements, and particularly sales-y language in stories can come across as suspicious and will be flagged in our new moderation protocol.
Keeping Our Community Safe
One thing that really stands out about our Creators is how they take care of each other. We see it in the stories told and the comments written. We also see it in the way the Vocal community reacts to spam and harmful content.
We are heartened by the efforts of our Creators to report stories and comments that do not fit within our Community Guidelines. If you come across a story that is spammy or threatening, please report it using the flag feature at the top of the story or comment. We try our best to make sure none of this gets through, but we appreciate the extra sets of eyes.
We’re Here to Help
At Vocal, we have always prided ourselves on human-led moderation. Humans do make mistakes. If you feel that your story was not approved in error, you can always reach out to our support team to appeal.
We hope the improvements in moderation speed encourage you to create even more. Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.
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