Communities – When Should You Overrule Free Speech?
As your community develops and grows there is one Universal truth that will at some point show its ugly head; the fact that some people like to disrupt and cause aggrevation. Whilst I fully appreciate the need for “Free Speech” and that it’s marked down as a human right I think there are times as a Community Manager that you need to take stock and stand your ground.
To quote a great film;
“the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one”
I think this rings true when managing your community and especially if you have been tasked with increasing engagement and the audience size. If you’ve got a few people sounding off in a particular way that undermines those efforts and is proving detrimental to the experience of others what do you do? For me I’ve introduced what could be classed as a controversial rule; as CM I’ve got the right to remove someone from the community if they aren’t contributing positively and are causing unrest.
Now I do give a bit of flexibility and it isn’t a 1 strike rule but there have been occasions were I’ve ejected members both new and longstanding purely because the tone and content of their posts over a period of time isn’t benefitting the community. This does come down to a subjective view of where the line is and I fully agree that different people handle situations differently but I’d rather have a rule like that than enable people to ruin the experience for others.
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