Moderation Best Practices:
- Communicating and setting proper expectations of community areas.
- Providing open two-way communication paths to the community moderation team.
- Stand firm on your community guidelines, but allow for review in the event of an error.
- Use your best judgment on content — look at it from the author’s viewpoint, as well as the other participants.
- Continually assess the needs of various community areas, adapting to user’s needs.
- Set internal expectations on different moderation scenarios and outcomes
- Leverage as much filtering and “pre-moderation” capabilities to lower the burden on human resources.
- Monitor, measure and categorize the different types of community conversations
- Allow transparent employee participation
- Use an “authentic” voice when dealing with abusers.
- Allow dissent and/or criticism on your site
Moderation Bad Practices:
- Positioning yourself on any one extreme of the moderation spectrum.
- Shutting online areas down in response to excessive negative user activity, especially without posting a reason.
- Throwing more moderation staff into an area with excessive negative user activity.
- Anonymous participation by employees
- Punishing criticism
- Scrubbing everything you post by corp comms and/or legal
- Deleting posts that conform to code of conduct, but might not sit well with executives/management
- Losing courage at the first sign of conflict or criticism on your site
- If your content/site voice is pushy and opinionated, you’ll get back pushy and opinionated responses, amplified.
- If personal and tactful, you’ll get that back, amplified.
- Encourage community members to complete their profile. If they have a complete bio, avatar, etc., they will be less likely to be bad mannered.
- Reward the best contributors and showcase them. Let them be the shining example of what a good community citizen looks like.
- Always be nice, even when banning content or users. Give full reasons to why the action is being taken.
Thoughts? Please feel free to add your own advice based on your experiences.