This week we explored the world of moderation and social media. Our behaviors and values are our own and we can’t force them on anyone. Our approach must be as light as possible and never show any retaliatory anger.
We were asked how we would moderate the following audience/customer comments if left on our organization’s Facebook page:
To a hotel: “I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”
I would say to this customer, “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. What date and time did you visit us? I’m wondering if it might have been during shift change. Our staff is usually great about keeping our dining room and kitchen in tip top shape.”
To a mainstream news network: “Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.” (Let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides.)
Here I would say, “The conflict is quite upsetting and all of the issues are important. That’s why we make every attempt to report with care and neutrality.”
I think I would let almost anything slide that doesn’t appear to attack anyone. Most of the time, other users moderate one another. People can make some really harsh comments and we would love nothing more than to give them a piece of our mind. Of course, we can’t do this on social media, but other users can and do. Sometimes a major battle ensues. Even then, as the moderator, you have to see what direction the argument is taking and see if it warrants you stepping in or deleting posts and blocking users.
The easy part of moderating is rewarding good behavior. Acknowledging when users say something funny is really just another way of engaging with your audience. Perhaps this side of moderating just naturally occurs when a brand is present. I wonder if having a presence also acts as a deterrent against bad behavior. I would imagine that some people might not take things to the next level if the brand engages often but there will always be those who troll or look for every opportunity to start a fight and get the attention of strangers.