An online community is a beautiful place for groups of like-minded individuals to come together and discuss their favorite hobbies, media, and other interests. However, the internet gives anyone the ability to communicate with the world anonymously. Consequently, many people push the limits of what is socially acceptable on the internet because they know they won’t have to face real-world consequences for their misconduct.
Thus, many platforms and administrators implement content moderation to make their communities a better place. While content moderation can curb bad online behavior, administrators must implement it intelligently to achieve the best results. Therefore, if you want to keep your online community positive, productive, and safe, then check out these four essential ways to improve content moderation.
Limit Offensive Images
Many platforms allow users to share images, but not all photos are appropriate. Many images may be highly offensive to visitors, and community members, so proper image moderation tools are necessary to maintain harmony. These days, administrators can take advantage of several algorithmic moderation programs to automatically prevent users from posting the wrong images.
Establish Clear and Reasonable Expectations
Rules are essential, and good practices can help establish a positive culture in any community. Users may find it challenging to follow the rules if they do not have clear guidelines to reference. Thus, you and other community leaders should establish a visible set of rules to keep the community descending into anarchy.
Not all online communities have the exact needs. Therefore, you should carefully consider your group’s purpose, sensitivities, and extraordinary circumstances when crafting appropriate guidelines. Furthermore, policies should be specific enough to be enforceable. If your rules are too vague, it may be difficult for moderators to deal with violations fairly, which may upset community members.
Find Quality Moderators
Moderators should be dedicated and available. Depending on the scope of your community, you may not be able to pay your moderators, but that doesn’t mean that you must settle for the first
person who wants to be a moderator. Before you choose your community’s moderators, you should hold fair and open applications to find the best people for the job.
When interviewing potential moderators, it’s essential to ask hypothetical questions and have candid discussions with them to feel their character. If they seem like they are hungry for power, then they may end up treating your community like a fiefdom and alienating visitors. On the flip side, you want to ensure that your moderators are still assertive enough to enforce the rules and minimize misconduct.
Engage With Community Members
Moderators aren’t supposed to function as correctional officers within your online community. Your moderators will get drawn from your community or a similar group, so there is nothing wrong with letting them interact with other community members. Community members will be happy to participate in ordinary discourse with moderators. Suppose members of your community are friendly with your moderation team. In that case, they will be more likely to comply with community guidelines and reach out to moderators if there’s ever a problem.