Part of Hello World’s mission is to give the world’s talented youth a platform to promote themselves, get noticed by life-changing opportunities, and connect with other like-minded youth around the globe. The core of the Hello World app is our video-first format, which allows teens to better express their personalities, skills, and passions compared to traditional paper applications. Recently, we’ve also ventured into the world of Discord and created our own Hello World community there. Over the past two years our app has grown and evolved from simple ideas on sticky notes to a thriving product that has been used by more than 83,000 people in over 160 countries; more than 60,000 videos have been uploaded, over 735,000 peer feedback responses have been given, and our Discord server boasts nearly 1000 members.
With so many videos and so many members all trying to share and collaborate over the internet, we must take responsibility for the safety and security of the youth that use our platform and who choose to join our community. Hello World takes moderation very seriously, not only for safety reasons, but also because we wish to build a community based on trust: trust that our moderators will be unbiased, fair, and empathetic; trust that youth can be open and honest without fear of discrimination or backlash; and trust that we will all do our best to help each other and bring each other up, not down.
Our unique moderation culture fosters close connections, safety, respect, and is something that our moderators take great pride in being a part of. Here’s how we make it happen.
On Discord, alerts are sent out automatically every time a new member joins the server. In some servers, bots are used to welcome new members every time this happens, but in the Hello World server our moderators welcome every new member personally. Bots are convenient and undoubtedly useful, and are a part of our server too, but we prefer to have a certain human touch for a user’s first interaction with us. We ask users to introduce themselves and let us know what they’re passionate about, but only if they’re comfortable doing so. Although the general message is the same, every moderator has their own personal greeting style, and they all follow up in their own kind and caring manner.
With very little auto-moderation, our small, four-person moderation team is able to get quite close to the active members of our community. Users can feel comfortable knowing that the moderators they are familiar with and have gotten to know will be available on the Discord server regularly. The same moderators that are on Discord are also watching all videos uploaded to the app, and in this way our mods are better able to put names to faces and give personalized advice to those who ask for it.
We’re also respectful of any feedback we receive, and we do our best to make sure our community feels heard as we make improvements to the Hello World Discord experience. Our feedback channel is positive, encouraging, and always open to any ideas the community might have.
Because our moderation culture is always kind and respectful, we’ve established a close connection with our community that allows them to feel comfortable with opening up. We have a channel dedicated to answering questions about college, a channel dedicated to staying positive and sharing inspiration, and we have a voice channel we use to hold regular English conversation practice sessions. Admitting you’re unsure about college and the future or practicing English as a non-native speaker can be quite daunting, but our moderators work hard to foster a community where our users feel comfortable doing exactly these kinds of things. We sincerely answer any questions the youth using Hello World might have, and we take time to chat casually with any members who are looking for someone to talk to. We want the youth in our community to feel seen and heard, and to know that the Hello World community is a place where they can find support.
We surveyed our youth and asked what they thought the difference between our community and others was. Consistently they felt that we provided them with a safe space to express themselves and were excited by our learning opportunities. We love hearing this positive feedback and it motivates us to provide an even better online experience to our users!
Antonieta worked on her English skills with us all summer. She recently shared this, “I love the respect and empathy that is felt between those that make up the community.”
- Antonieta Dolores, México
Our moderation culture is unique in that it’s something our moderators take great pride in; it leaves them feeling fulfilled, inspired, and motivated. We foster connections that might not otherwise have existed without the Hello World app, we help youth around the world who may not know where else to go for the answers they’re looking for, and we do it all not only because it is our responsibility, but above all because we believe that being kind and respectful can only engender more kindness and respect in turn, and those are the tenets we wish for our community to uphold.
Our lovely moderators form the essential core of our team and have these wonderful things to say about their work and the Hello World community:
If you also believe in the power of kindness and respect and share in our mission, please, say hello! We're always eager to connect with individuals and organizations that can share ideas and opportunities to unlock potential in more teens.