Keeping Discussion Relevant

trolling on social media

On social media and the remaining message boards online, discussions on some topics bring forth fiery debates. Debates don’t always stimulate intelligent discourse. Rather, debates devolve into arguments that bring out the worst in people. Moderators of social media platforms can’t let trolls and other disruptive members ruin a group. Not everyone wishes to experience negativity and anger when perusing a group for enjoyment. Establishing rules for social media group memberships help lay the proverbial law down.

The Moderation Protocol Process

Establishing rules, however, doesn’t automatically mean members follow the rules. So, a “moderation protocol” has to go into effect. A moderation protocol refers to how the moderator enforces the rules. Since a single moderator can’t review every post in real-time or even on a routine schedule, a social media group or page requires assistance from a staff of “junior” moderators. These junior members don’t run the group or page, but they maintain delegated authority to ensure members follow house rule. When someone ignores the rules, someone must take action.

Understand Some Topics Come with Fireworks

The moderation staff does need to realize arguing and fighting becomes unavoidable when certain topics come up. On a political board, for example, people with diverse opinions will argue. Arguments can become heated. Jumping into the fray too quickly could lead to cries of “censorship” or “favoritism” causing members to leave. They may take other members with them. Decide on what is or isn’t acceptable regarding arguments and heated discussions. Make sure the staff knows when to step in and calm members down.

Warning, Strikes, and Banning

As soon as a member crosses the line, someone must communicate with the member. Depending on what rule the member violated, he/she may receive a warning or a strike. Once a set number of strikes amass, the member ends up banned. Some infractions, however, may necessitate banning on the first offense. Two key points are necessary here: definitively establish the rules and apply them uniformly and fairly. Everyone junior moderator must be on the same page here.

Staying on Topic and Veering Off

A social media page about upcoming science-fiction films shouldn’t have threads dealing with the glory days of baseball in the 1970s. Sometimes, people may veer off into different topics in their comments. Staying on-topic all the time isn’t realistic, but moderators do need to reel in members who veer way off topic too often. Sometimes, threads must be locked due to going off-topic too much.

Enforcing Community Standards

As the saying goes, some folks can’t “play nice.” They use profanity, or they make direct, personal attacks on others. Nudity detection image moderation API can’t catch everything, so someone must keep track of what’s occurring. If foul language and antisocial behavior aren’t welcome in the group, make sure everyone knows the rules. Maybe even pin rules about community standards at the top of the page. Tell moderators to be on the lookout for any member dragging down the community’s standards. And make sure the moderators know how to react accordingly.

Without rules, a social media page or group becomes an unwelcoming, unentertaining place. Be sure there are reasonable rules, and take steps to ensure the junior moderators apply the rules with fairness.


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