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Avoid Being Heavy Handed When Enforcing Online Community Guidelines

Just because you have the power to do so doesn’t mean that all online community issues require warnings and bannings. Yes, you want to nip negativity in the bud, but no, you don’t want to get petty about it either. Sometimes letting an issue slide is okay.

As community manager, it’s your job to know your community. Sometimes regular, upstanding members have slip-ups. Sometimes newer members who don’t do more than scan the rules may use one of your naughty words. Determine whether or not these occasions are innocent. Take it private, note the error, and move on without making it a big deal.

Sometimes a heated post or rant is important to get a point across. You don’t need to remove the content if it’s still within the guidelines, and it isn’t hurting anyone. Not all negativity is disruptive, abusive, or cause to get out the big guns.

Community members want to respect and enjoy interacting with those who manage. They don’t want to fear them or associate them with parents or bosses. In most cases, everyone is an equal, except the community manager is there to ensure a positive experience. You’re there to guide, not punish.

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