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Distributed moderation is a form of comment moderation that allows the users to moderate themselves. Distributed moderation comes in two types: User Moderation and Spontaneous Moderation.
When a website utilizes a function to allow user-generated submissions to be posted on the site (such as a comment system), there are three basic choices about how that content will be moderated: first, by the website owner unilaterally deleting/editing posts (unilateral moderation); second, by the users being given the option of voting other users' submissions up or down (user moderation); and third, by allowing no official moderation, which results in other users moderating through the use of responding to others' comments (spontaneous moderation). The latter two, user moderation and spontaneous moderation, are examples of distributed moderation.
Distributed moderation is an example of crowdsourcing, and as such suffers from groupthink. Although it is a more fair system than unilateral moderation, it is not necessarily more free; unpopular comments in a distributed moderation setting are often removed or otherwise hidden, even in circumstances where unilateral moderation might have left the comment alone.
Wikipedia is an example of distributed moderation.