My Facebook Group is called, “Trading Tunes: A Place to Share Playlists.” It can be described as a safe place to share your favorite songs, artists, albums, playlists, etc. By joining my group, members agree to expand their music library, broaden their music taste, and participate in daily polls and conversations. As of November 11, 2021, my Facebook Group consists of one moderator (myself) and 179 members.
What is a moderator?
The task of moderating a Facebook Group is sort of like being a teacher at the front of the classroom; They make sure everyone in the classroom is behaving, being respectful, following the rules, and actively participating. The teacher might bring up a topic to discuss or they might open the floor. A moderator of a Facebook Group does similar tasks, except in a virtual setting, and monitors the group members’ behaviors within the group.
The first steps that I have taken to moderate my group is to make it a private group, rather than a public group. This means that it’s a closed group, and therefore people who are not members of this group cannot see the content, posts, or conversations being had within the group.
Secondly, I turned on membership approval and created questions that need answered before joining. By adding this feature, I have been able to control who is allowed to join and make the decision to approve or deny their requests based on their responses.
These two steps are a great way to quickly grasp the moderation aspect of your group. Having a private and closed group allows for your members to feel safe from the outside world and feel more inclined to participate in conversations within the group. Turning on membership approvals gives you the opportunity to weed out anyone who you don’t see as the right fit for the content of your group.
Rules, Regulations and Guidelines
My group has five main rules that are listed on my Facebook Group’s “About” section. If you are having trouble coming up with some rules of your own, I based a lot of my group’s rules on Facebook’s Community Standards. The infographic below illustrates the Do’s and Don’ts of my Facebook Group:
Compared to a lot of other groups that I am a part of on Facebook, I would consider my group to be small. With the small number of members that I have, it’s easier for me to monitor the posts, conversations, and member requests. However, if I had thousands of members, I definitely might need some help keeping up with all of the moderation. If you find yourself in a place where you can’t keep up with everything yourself, you could always add additional administrators to help you moderate the group.
I personally do not have this feature turned on because I haven’t had any issues with anyone breaking any of my posted rules, but you could also turn on post approval, which means an administrator would have to review your post before it would be seen by other members in the group. If you do find yourself having to remove posts frequently, or you see that some posts are causing harm or controversy within your group, or maybe you notice that some members are not following your posted rules and guidelines, you could turn on post approval as another moderation tool.
If you find yourself having to deal with a member disobeying your posted rules, there are few things you can do. According to the Facebook Blueprint course, Get Started with Groups, the first thing you should do is talk to the member either publicly in the comments, or privately, and try to redirect the tone of the conversation. Let the person know which rule they are violating by restating the rules. (If you need to, post the rules to the Facebook Group, and make it a pinned post at the top of the group.) If the conversation on the specific posts starts to get aggressive and members are starting to fight, you have the option to turn off commenting on the post. It is recommended that you do not delete the post, so that other members are able to read and learn about what happened. Lastly, if none of the following changes the behaviors and actions of the group member, you could remove or block that member from the Facebook Group.
Facebook Community Standards. Transparency Center. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://transparency.fb.com/policies/community-standards/.
Moderate a Group. Facebook for Business. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/lessons/moderate-a-group.