Redacting Content Online: Software Plugin Summary

Posting electronic content in the digital information age has always met with the challenge of controlling the level of dissemination. While content management systems like WordPress have revolutionized the ability to disseminate content from one place out into the entire world, the ability to redact or reverse the dissemination has largely relied on a manual process. Additionally, dynamic ways to mask or hide information has not been available. WP Redactor is a WordPress Plugin that allows users to redact content by using a blacklist of terms configured in the site settings or by manually redacting content in the editor using a custom menu item and short code.

Some common uses for electronic redaction include:

  • Legal disclosures (privy party) in electronic documents
  • Amendment of press releases
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) elements
  • Classification levels of sensitive information
  • Compartmentalization of digital content
  • Provision to mask sensitive human resource information

Defining Access Methods and User Definitions

The Redactor tool provides a process that supports displaying data in a segmented way. Instead of generating multiple forms with replicated data, it simply hides or masks the information from the user’s perspective. To achieve segmentation and to make sure the information is displayed to the appropriate consumers, a mechanism is provided to distinguish when the designated groups or individuals can see certain items.

Redactor Dialog
Redactor Dialog

The Redaction Process

The software primarily allows to ways to redact – singularly within an individual post or automatically by developing a set of rules applied across documents.

Automatic Redaction
Within the redaction rules interface rules can be applied to the different user roles and used to create a “blacklist” of terms which take action when triggered:

Administrator rule editor or “blacklist” configuration
Administrator Rule Editor or “Blacklist” Configuration

Manual Redaction
The individual post editor provides manual redaction of electronic content through the use of a visual text editor by simply dragging and highlighting the redacted text.

Post Redaction editor view
Post Editor View

Text Redaction in Action 

Along with a process that supports displaying data in a segmented way, the tool allows different styles of redaction “designation”. Users who are not allowed to see content as post subscribers view a traditional “black box” over the redacted content, while contributors might see a translucent box indicating the text is no longer viable content for inappropriate audiences. Furthermore, a hover feature allows both contributors as well as subscribers to see who redacted the content and when the redaction was applied for auditing purposes.

Post editor preview
Post Editor Preview
Post subscriber view
Post Subscriber View

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