n recent weeks, some questions have arisen in regards to our Weekly Podcast Roundup, posted each Monday afternoon. How do we screen podcasts? How do we choose who makes the list and who doesn’t? I’m going to take a moment of your time to explain as best we can.
To get on our podcast roundup, all that you need to do is produce a World of Warcraft podcast and make us aware of it. You can either leave a comment with a link on the most recent roundup post, or contact us via our Contact Us page. If you publish a podcast within the dates indicated on the next roundup post, you should see yourself on the list.
Generally speaking, we don’t claim responsibility for the contents of the podcasts we list. We don’t make them, we don’t condone them, all that we do is make them available for the community to find what they like. If you want to know how we screen podcasts, we generally don’t. We can’t listen to every podcast the community publishes. In last week’s podcast roundup, there were 39 World of Warcraft podcasts listed. If you consider that the average length of a podcast is one hour, listening to every podcast we list would equal an entire full-time work week. We simply can’t listen to all of them. We do listen to some of them because we enjoy them, but not all of them.
Speaking honestly, it’s not a great decision for an editorial team (like ours) to promote work they can’t personally vouch for. Conventional wisdom would say that we shouldn’t maintain such a list if we can’t listen to absolutely everything on the list. However, when we chose to do the Weekly Podcast Roundup, we chose to take a risk — we chose that we would rather risk a few bad apples than to cut off support for the World of Warcraft podcast community. We publish almost everything sent to us as-is and we hope the community can self-police.
The only thing we might change in your podcast listing is the title of an episode if the title contains profanity. In that case, we’ll replace the written title with an episode number. We try to use as little profanity (swears, cusses, oaths, whatever) as possible on our own site. If you follow the Twitter accounts of some of our staff, you’ll quickly see that many of us have potty mouths in our free time, but we keep it clean on-site because it’s the decent, respectful thing to do. Sometimes we slip up, but we do our best.
From time to time, we do remove a podcast from our list if it becomes abundantly clear that their behavior negatively impacts our community. That decision is completely made at our own discretion, based on standards we try to hold ourselves to here on WoW Insider. Some of the things that we absolutely will not promote are:
* Hate speech (whether it be racial, gendered, or based in sexual orientation or religious belief, etc)
* “Jokes” about sexual assault
* “Jokes” about child abuse
* Sharing an unwilling party’s personal information (real name, address, and so forth)
* Just about any behavior we deem harmful or threatening toward real people
We can’t stop you from doing whatever you want on your own podcast, but we don’t have to like it, condone it, or promote it.
We’re never going to share publicly who we’ve removed from our listings or why. It simply isn’t going to happen. It’s inappropriate to divulge that kind of information. Nobody has anything to gain from WoW Insider airing dirty laundry. The only thing that would result is the same sort of drama we attempt to avoid by having these rules to begin with.
If you’re an avid podcast listener and you read through those rules wondering why we haven’t removed X or Y podcast from our list for breaking them, it might be because we gave that podcast the benefit of the doubt. Since we can’t listen to every podcast published every week, they may be breaking these loose rules and we don’t know it. If you want to report a problem to us, please do. Use our Contact Us form and give us as many details as possible such as links, timestamps for the issue you describe, and any other information you can provide. An angry email with no context doesn’t help us resolve anything. Unleashing your rage and calling people out in our comments doesn’t help anybody, either. In fact, calling people out tends to do nothing but complicate the issue.
We want to continue promoting the podcast community to the best of our ability. We don’t want to let a few bad apples ruin the bunch. If you produce a podcast, try to have some basic decency. Not only for your listeners, but for humanity at large. If you listen to podcasts, help us help you.