Every week Community Spotlight will showcase one of the amazing communities you can find with Thredd. Today’s post is about r/NeutralPolitics, a forum for discussing politics with strangers on the Interne – wait don’t go!

Despite what we’ve been conditioned to expect, r/NeutralPolitics is not the digital equivalent of a dumpster fire. They focus on “evenhanded, empirical discussion of political issues” and accomplish this task admirably through smart moderation.

First of all, all conversations must start around a political issue, not the opinions about or the media coverage around it. This rule makes r/NeutralPolitics a great place to stay informed on what has actually happened. While this might sound like the conversations would consist entirely of sharing news articles the reality is far from it. Different people can draw radically different conclusions from the same event. Seeing this in action and watching the two sides explain how they reached their conclusion (using even more sources) gives the bystander a complete picture of the issue.

Second, and most impressively, the community understands that being a neutral space is not the same as being moderate. They encourage people from all sides to post and comment. All that matters is how they present their position. This keeps the community from becoming an echo chamber, an all-too-common occurrence on the Internet today.

I’m really impressed with how well r/NeutralPolitics is run. It’s a Reddit community where anyone can post but it’s not a complete disaster. How? Simply by defining its scope and enforcing that all contributors make a minimum amount of effort to add their voice. Personally I hope that the internet can be modeled after them in the future.

If you liked this post, check out the Blog for even more awesome communities.

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