17 Replies Latest reply: Apr 27, 2011 6:51 AM by Del Green RSS

    How often does inappropriate behavior occur in your community?

    Gia Lyons

      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?
          Ted Hopton

          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).

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

            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

            • 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.

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

                  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?
                  Roy Wilsker

                  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.

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

                    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?
                      Trisha Liu

                      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.

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

                        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.

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

                          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.

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

                            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?
                              Del Green
                              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.