Strategies To Build Safer Online Communities

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Bringing together a large group of people online who share common interests is critical to starting a community. However, achieving true community success in the long term requires more. Specifically, online community managers and community moderation tools play an essential role.

What Is Online Community Moderation?

Online communities are like gardens. They thrive when well taken care of, including removing weeds and receiving the key ingredients to grow, like sunlight, water, and nutrients.

Online community moderation is the art and science of guiding a community to align with specific values. Many communities have a list of formal rules. For example, Reddit community rules often discourage self-promotion. Other online communities – particularly those aimed at younger people – have rules discouraging inappropriate language (e.g., profanity).

There are two broad categories of online community moderation: software and manual. Software-based moderation (included in Arena Live Chat) is an excellent way to filter profanity and other objectionable words. Manual moderation has a role to play in other scenarios. For instance, you might be hosting a celebrity for a Q&A event and want to keep questions on-topic — both manual and software moderation can help you run a successful event.

Online Communities

Ways To Streamline Community Moderation

You can use a few strategies to make online community moderation easier.

Community Rules

Posting a community code of conduct or rules is an effective way to set expectations when new people join. If you host live community online events, it is wise to repeat rules that apply to those interactions so that everybody is on the same page. For example, the r/science community – which has 31 million members – on Reddit enforces multiple rules, including:

  • Must be peer-reviewed research
  • No abusive or offensive comments
  • Non-professional personal anecdotes will be removed
  • No medical advice
  • Comments dismissing established findings and fields of science must provide evidence

Manage Access To The Community

As communities grow larger, it becomes more difficult to maintain standards. Therefore, you should curate your community deliberately. For instance, a publisher can offer several online communities. One community – open to all registered users – may have limited moderation. In contrast, the same publisher might also have a second online community limited to paying subscribers.

For example, a publisher that offers “subscriber only” content and community limits access to people with an active subscription. By the way, a single organization can host multiple communities, including an open community where anybody can join and a more exclusive community for paying members.

Recruit and Retain Volunteer Moderators

Scaling up to a larger community with tens of thousands or more members is tough if you have a single moderator. Fortunately, you can recruit volunteer moderators (often called “mods”) to help maintain community standards. Usually, extending an invitation to a community moderator is best based on the person’s track record. For example, a person who encourages positive dialogue and gently reminds others of the community rules might be a good candidate for a volunteer moderator.

To retain your community moderators, offer them exclusive benefits. For example, content moderators might be invited to ask the first question when you have question-and-answer events. Publishers can also reward moderators with gifts like apparel or subscription discounts.

Build Safe Online Communities with Arena

Although social media can be a good place to start, bringing your online communities can bring numerous advantages for your brand. You can engage with your customers through Live Chat, Live Blog, and other Customer Engagement ideas. Arena is easy to integrate, perfect for conversations, community chat, as well as ratings and reviews.

Arena Community represents a significant leap forward in audience engagement and interaction. With its comprehensive feature set and user-centric design, Arena Community counts with moderation features that guarantee your virtual community stays safe and enjoyable for your audience.

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