Editing Ri Talks and moderating comments

Discover how we plan our livestreams, why we edit Ri Talk videos, and our approach to moderating online comments.

The Royal Institution is a forum for the free and open discussion of ideas, and we recognise the fundamental importance of freedom of speech within the law.

How we select events to film and livestream

We want to connect as many people as possible with science. Our livestreams and YouTube videos help us to do this by bringing our Theatre events to a wider audience online.

We are not able to livestream or record all our Theatre events. For example, not all speakers want their events livestreamed or recorded, and some events may contain copyrighted material which we are unable to share on YouTube.

When selecting which events we will livestream or record for our YouTube audience, we work across the organisation to develop a schedule that balances:

  • Audience need
  • Accessibility
  • Representation
  • Resources available

Scheduling our Ri Talks on YouTube

When planning our Ri Talks release schedule for YouTube, we aim to put together a varied and balanced schedule.

We want our schedule to reflect the many of voices and subjects in science, and we try to avoid having videos on the same topic too close together.

Sometimes this means there may be a delay between us filming a Theatre event, and the event video being published on our YouTube channel.

Editing Ri Talk videos

It is important to us that our Ri Talk films accurately reflect the talks, discussions and events on which they were based.

All speakers who contribute to any of our programmes represent their own views and do not necessarily represent the views of the Royal Institution.

We edit Ri Talks for the following reasons:

  • To create a high-quality engaging film
  • Due to health and safety concerns – we will not show demonstrations which are not performed safely and will not encourage unsafe activities to be undertaken at home
  • To safeguard young people and vulnerable adults – we will only show identifiable shots of under-18s if we have written parental consent
  • To remove inappropriate or distracting audience behaviour
  • Due to copyright issues

We do not edit Ri Talks to change the content or meaning the presenter aimed to convey. This includes editing any political or controversial statements.

Livestreaming Ri Talks and events

Because they are live, we are not able to fully edit our livestreamed events as we stream them.

Any livestreamed event which is shared on our YouTube channel as an Ri Talk, will be edited in accordance to the reasons set out above.

We aim to make a recording of our livestreamed events recording available online to ticket holders for one week after the event.

However, there may be occasions where we do not share the recorded livestream.

Why we may withhold the release of Ri Talks or livestream recordings

We reserve the right not to release an event we have filmed, or to share a recording of a livestream.

Reasons why we may withhold a release include:

  • Quality of presentation
  • Inaccuracies – scientific and factual
  • Content which could be considered illegal (e.g. inciting terrorism)
  • Defamatory content
  • Racist, sexist or homophobic content

Moderating comments on social media, livestreams and YouTube

We welcome comments on our YouTube and other social media platforms because they play an important part in fulfilling our mission and vision by:

  • Providing an opportunity for everyone to discuss and think more deeply about science and its place in our lives
  • Helping us nurture online communities which are engaged with the work of the Ri
  • Enabling a two-way conversation between the Ri and our audiences
  • Creating opportunities for our audiences to give us feedback on our work

Why we moderate comments

We moderate comments to:

  • Make sure that our social media platforms and livestreamed events are welcoming places, where everyone feels comfortable and confident to comment
  • Help encourage our audience to question, discuss, and think more deeply about science and its place in our lives
  • Remove repeated comments, including 'spamming'
  • Protect our contributors, speakers, presenters and staff from any form of online abuse
  • Protect our audience from any form of online abuse
  • Ensure content on our social media platforms is legal and safe
  • Ensure personal safety and well-being
  • Foster a sense of community

How we moderate comments

We will remove, report, block, use ‘time-outs’ or otherwise shutdown inappropriate comments including those which:

  • Are abusive, offensive or discriminatory
  • Contain inappropriate language and hate speech
  • May be considered inflammatory
  • Share personal information or contact details
  • Break the law, including breaching of copyright, defamation and libel
  • Promote illegal activity, including terrorism and acts of violence
  • Promote disinformation
  • Are off-topic

Pre-moderation and turning off commenting

We may pre-moderate or turn off comments where we feel it is appropriate to do so, particularly where a video or event features children or vulnerable adults.