24 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2015 8:46 AM by shauna

    How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

      Hi internal #cmgrs,


      We often get asked by prospective customers how often cyberstalking or inappropriate or malicious  messages actually occur within an employee community. Anecdotally, we  know that it doesn't happen very often at all, but I'm interested in  getting some informed estimations from our existing customers.


      Does anyone keep count of these rare instances?

        • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

          Our internal community has been live since June 2008 (pilot), officially going live in Sept 2008. Here are are totals for the issues you listed:


          cyberstalking: 0

          malicious messages: 0

          inappropriate: 4*


          * Inappropriate is a matter of judgment.

          1 case of an innocent link to an external image which a non-member of our community then switched to be a pornographic image (oops!).

          1 case of cultural difference that was ruled inappropriate by central HR, even though in Brazil the manager felt the contest in his office was appropriate within his country's culture.

          1 case of someone in the UK being perceived as disrespectul, even though in the US it likely would not have been removed.

          1 case during the pilot, before we published any guidelines at all, where a couple of guys set up a private group and exchanged views about the likelihood of scoring with women in the office on the upcoming weekend (as sys admin I saw it, deleted it, and counseled them on appropriate usage of the site).

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          • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

            In the past three years of communities (soft launched) we have not had any incident... in our (current) culture it will be a severe “career limiting move”.





            082 805 1672

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            • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

              We have been live for just over a year and have seen very little inappropriate use of the system.  Most cases (again a small number) are inappropriate (non-business related) profile photos or non-business related content.


              On a side note, we do an automatic load from PeopleSoft on a weekly basis and with this we load employees badge photos to the profile page.  They can go in and change the photo if they choose to do so but it is a placeholder to start.  We were recently informed that some International employees saw this as a privacy breach and learned that many international laws prohibit such action without consent.  We are currently working to remove badge photos for International employees and stop the auto feed for this population.  Lesson Learned.

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                • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                  It's pretty much the same for us. We are live for 18 months and had a few instances of inappropriate photos. Those photos weren't indecent but for example while going hunting in NZ is a normal weekend activity for some it doesn't make a good profile photo. We had also one abuse report and that came down to cultural differences and a mis-understanding.


                  Jen, thanks for the note in respect to the badge photos. NZ has the same privacy laws and we can't do that without consent. Hence HR started an initiative to gain everybody's consent and has made it now part of the employment contract.

                • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                  We've had only two cases of inappropriate behavior.


                  I took one as a teaching moment - I contacted the person and had a face to face meeting where I told the user how his comments were being perceived, and, therefore, how he was being perceived, and we went over basic strategies (attack the issue, not the person, etc.). He voluntarily fixed his entries and went on to be very helpful with constructive criticism.  I can't be sure whether that was the right approach or whether I was lucky in this instance, but it worked out well.


                  The other case was a manufacturing employee who went on the site and talked about how he couldn't wait for the day to be over so that he could hit that six pack of (insert your favorite brand of beer here). Plant HR met with him and reviewed our alcohol and work policy, the posting was removed, and the incident was closed.

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                  • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                    Ted, I'm LOLing at your last item (and probably shouldn't be. )


                    Thanks so much to all of you! What great feedback.

                    • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                      Our employee community has been live since August 2010. There have been no incidents of cyberstalking, malicious, or offensive behavior.


                      Just yesterday, someone did flag a post as inappropriate, but the post was asking about future support of a product. I need to talk to the reporter to better understand why he feels the post is inappropriate. Others have commented that they feel the question is valid, including the product manager.


                      We do have rules about client confidentiality and protecting sensitive company data to adhere to, so I have had a handful of discussions - about 5 - with folks instructing them to make a particular document or group private.

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                      • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                        I think it's telling that all the responses so far in this thread about "issues" have been related to judgment calls around the finer points of appropriate behavior. In other words, NO DIFFERENT THAN IN THE OFFICE, where over the course of time people occasionally have to be counseled about their behavior. In fact, I bet if you tallied up the HR complaints/issues in a company they would far outnumber the issues in one's online community.

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                        • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                          I'd say in our 18 monhs, we've had maybe 1 incident.  The truth it wasn't inappropriate in the traditional sense, it was more like a few people were uncofortable with the grammar and wording of the post.  I counseled the person and it was changed.

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                          • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                            In about two years, we've had one legitimate instance of someone posting something inappropriate (it predates my time as community manager, so I don't know the details, but I know that it was handled with the person's manager and the user and was ultimately resolved). Since I've been here, I'd say the closest we've come to inappropriate behavior have to do with nuances in community usage, for example:


                            - Some users think that other group members posting too frequently equates "spamming" them. We've tried to address this by frequently demonstrating to users that they can control their notification settings, but it's a challenge to keep people from filing our community into the "nuisance" category as a result.

                            - We had one user in particular who feels very, very passionately about a particular kind of diet -- and whenever conversations start about health and nutrition, he is all over it. His actual posts are not in violation of any of our terms, but I hear a lot from other users who feel like he's too aggressive and don't like what he's saying (which I remind them is an opportunity to engage). At one point he and I spoke, and I reminded him to stay respectful -- but in all it's more "slightly chaffing" than "inappropriate."


                            I totally agree with Ted's assessment. Generally people seem to know intuitively how to operate in this community, just like in offline communities. But, also just like in offline communities, you have people who don't seem to "get it," and who cross lines, push buttons, and need reminders to behave.

                            • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?
                              We've been live for about 2 yrs now and have also  had no major instances of inappropriate behaviour.
                              We have had a couple of very minor ones that have  simply come down to grammar or wording - the same as how a sms or email can be  misinterpreted. In these case the author' have been quite taken aback and  shocked that an comment - innocent in their eyes - has been taken in a way to  cause offence.
                              We find that the community actually self moderate  to a pretty high level.
                              I can recall one thread which was tailing of on a  tangent that could have been interpreted as borderline offensive, but where one  of the people contributing highlighted the fact and brought the thread back on  topic.
                              It was all done in a polite, civilised fashion and with no  intervention from moderators or need for the 'alert' button to be  pressed.
                              It does come down to both interpretation and more  importantly, common sense.
                              Intentionally broadcasting something inappropriate  when your name, the date and time is stamped all over it would be a pretty silly  thing do to.
                              • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                                I see this string is a few years old, but it is definitely still relevant information, and I have a few follow-up questions for anyone who is interested: When you discover and, say, remove an inappropriate post of some kind, do you post anything in the community acknowledging that the post was removed? If you do, what does your post say? If you don't say anything, do you notice people lose any trust in the platform or are in any way bothered that Big Brother is taking away something they'd seen posted earlier, but without acknowledgement?  Thanks!

                                  • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                                    Good question. We have only removed content in *very* rare occasions and never posted anything on the site bringing attention to it. At times, I've reached out the individual specifically as a heads up.

                                    • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?
                                      Dennis Pearce

                                      We have been operating for 3 years and have never deleted anything as far as I am aware.  By coincidence we have just recently had a big flap because a user deleted their own post for their own reasons and some others thought there was some sort of censorship going on.


                                      On the rare occasions when there have been controversial posts, our HR people have been good at operating the way I would prefer, which is contacting the poster in private and coming to a mutual decision under which the poster deletes or modifies the content themselves.

                                      • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                                        I has been an extremely rare occurrence--maybe three times in three years. On all occasions, I notified the person and explained what was wrong with the post and then removed it.  We then added language into our Terms that specifically noted the type of post that was responsible.  In all instances, the postings were about employees advertising some kind of for profit side business of theirs or their family.

                                        • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                                          We have removed spam. That seems to run in spurts and we remove it and the user without any notification. That case is easy and clear cut as the spam is promoting things that are not relevant to our community.


                                          Less clear is when we have a real member who posts something inappropriate. We have removed some of this content and again, it was clear it was inappropriate --- it was a rant and full of gibberish. We tried to let this person know it was inappropriate. When no action or continued posts were made, we blocked him from our community.


                                          The reaction from our members was that this needed to be done.  Of course, both of these cases were fairly clear.


                                          I think with less clear situations, it is important to contact the community member in question and have a private dialogue with them.




                                          Sent from my iPad

                                          • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                                            We've only had 2-3 instances of that nature in 4+ years. But we handled each differently based on the situation.


                                            One time where I had to delete something, there was some sensitive information in a document that should have been secured better within a different document management system than our Jive instance, but wasn't properly. And someone found it via our enterprise search engine, and then shared a link to it within Jive asking if people knew any more about it . And it contained some stuff that wasn't meant for general consumption. We just removed that one quickly and quietly without any explanation, and worked with the content owner to get their doc mgt system security settings squared away.


                                            The other was a pretty heated discussion in the early days of our ESN (I am going to say 2011), taking place in a widely followed corporate newsletter community on a blog post advertising an employee event. Diversity / equality related. It got up to 75-80 comments and was a little contentious but remained respectful...until...one specific comment that a person added was a bit malicious and threatening to a group of others (somewhere around comment #60)...and the reaction to it was understandably pretty harsh, both in the comments and in the "backchannels". I worked with HR (who were watching closely)...and we decided to wipe out all 80 comments, leave the blog post, and turn off future commenting on the post. But not before our VP of HR added a comment about the decision to remove the comments, what a tough decision it was that was not made lightly, and encouraging people to consider "respect for people" in future interactions.


                                            It was the worst day of my work life hitting delete on all those comments (I think it was a Friday the 13th actually). And luckily in the years since we've seen enough of an evolution in "community etiquette" behaviors that we haven't had any repeats of such an event, despite that same topic coming up again regularly in other posts/communities. But none since have devolved like that one specific instance did. I look at it as a then and now indicator of learning and growth within our overall company culture and people's increased willingness to understand one another vs...well....not doing that.

                                            • Re: How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

                                              We've moderated quite a few posts, but only deleted a handful.  These are primarily poor decision making on the users part about professionalism at work.  Keep in mind the majority of our users are retail store employees and do not always have the same mentality of "work appropriate" as more professional careers.


                                              Our users have been advised to behave in the community with the same "voice" you use in your workplace, whether that is a store, DC or office.   Moderators have been trained to review posts and react based on how they would react if this was said in the workplace in person.  That clears up the bulk of our issues, there is just something magic about the safety of a keyboard/phone that makes some users forget who they're taking to and where they are.  Usually a little friendly reminder from our Community Manager ahawkins or one of the peer moderators clears things up quickly.  Those groups are also adept at spotting a potential issue prior to it occurring and talking to the user (in the post or PM) about the tone of the message before it gets escalation worthy.


                                              Common issues for us.and they do all violate our Community Terms of Service

                                              • Name calling or flaming
                                              • Rude language (knowingly tricking our censoring and adding spaces to get key words in, or just continuing the phrase with the starred out word in such a way that most users can guess the word
                                              • General unprofessional behavior


                                              When we launched, we implemented a complete moderation program where any questionable content either found by a moderator or flagged by the community follows these steps, in order, based on severity of post and reaction of user.  We don't typically post these to the entire community, similar to how you would't announce counseling or disciplining an employee in front of their peers (or in this case the entire company).

                                              1. Direct message to the user - discuss why post was inappropriate or questionable, request as few edits as possible to make post appropriate while still maintaining gist of their content. 98% of all issues were stopped at this point, The user will typically just edit the content in question with a different phrase, verb, adjective, etc. and move on.
                                              2. Direct message to supervisor and HR partner of user - explain what occurred in step 1, and request appropriate counseling occur. Most of the time the post in question has been temporarily moved to the moderator private group by this step.  If the user is willing to edit as in step one, we will release the edited post.  If not, it is deleted.
                                              3. User barred from site until step 2 complete - we have only done this 3 times, and it was very painful.  In these situations the user was either a repeat offender, or was being unreasonable with moderation.  For example, one user kept getting flagged by the community - and every time his post was removed via the system due to being flagged too many times, he would re-post in a new thread faster than a moderator could even try to direct message him.  He was belligerent, inappropriate and disrespectful to the point of name calling.

                                              There have also been a few instances where the post topic was controversial or inappropriate for "public" sharing that we locked, with a full explanation as to why. For example, employees taking about open Loss Prevention Investigation cases, or Human Resources cases.  Again, those are not something you talk about IRL publicly, so the community discussions should be no different.

                                              We had a few really strange ones in the first few months, things like one guy that posted an inappropriate pic in a status update "how do i hide my phone # to avoid all the booty calls".  That user, along with most other users was easily taken care of.  He was both embarrassed and apologetic when we reached out to him, it was truly a case of youth and their personal experience with Social Media where he thought this was "Facebook" at work.