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Persistent Negative Behaviour Policy


As a platform for social learning, it is important that every course hosted on FutureLearn is an inclusive, positive and constructive learning environment. It’s also a place where fruitful discussion and debate are encouraged.

Learners should feel empowered to discuss even the most difficult topics, provided that they do so respectfully and within the appropriate context of a course.

For example, taking an extreme position on a sensitive subject like politics or religion might be appropriate within a course about that topic, but not if it is brought up out of context on a course about an entirely different subject.

Asking challenging questions is fine, occasional disagreements on particular matters are to be expected, and respectful debate is encouraged.

This policy is intended to discourage and manage persistent disruptive behaviour in which, for example, an individual will not stop posting about a single issue, to the detriment of the learning experience for other learners.


If a learner:

  • Repeatedly personally attacks another learner, educator or partner in a course
  • Refuses to accept the fundamental premise of a course
  • Is trying to force their own agenda on other learners
  • Shows no genuine interest in learning from the course
  • Posts intentionally provocative or inflammatory comments

And posts at least 5 comments that demonstrate one or more of the above…

FutureLearn Moderation will send them an email to explain why this is detrimental to the learning experience for other learners, ask them to change their behaviour, and link to this policy.

If the learner does not improve their behaviour and posts 2 more comments that fall into a category above, they may be asked to leave the course.

If they don’t leave or change their behaviour,
Depending on the situation, they may be temporarily or permanently suspended from accessing FutureLearn.

In addition, if the learner does not respond to the email and continues to post comments that fall into the categories above, they will be suspended until they communicate with FutureLearn to indicate that they will change their behaviour.

The more behaviours displayed from the categories above, the more negative the behaviour will be considered.

Read more about moderation on FutureLearn and the FutureLearn Code of Conduct.