The Basic etiquette of Communities – What NOT to do!

As an online community builder, you play the role of a gatekeeper because it’s your responsibility to set, maintain, and improve the community’s quality of interactions. To save you from a load of moderation troubles, we will walk you through the types of member behavior that may harm the community.

Here are seven things that your members should not do in the community

1. Don’t be rude

Being rude or off-putting has a negative impact on those around us. Even in an online community, such behavior can bring bad vibes. Your members must nurture a culture of courtesy and empathy with the way they talk to each other.

2. Don’t chat about moderation

Even though your role as an online community manager is not above criticism, the public chat is not where your performance should be discussed. It is a gateway for petitions and boycotts. In case of disagreement, encourage your members to reach out to you personally or discuss it with another moderator in the community.

3. Don’t spam

If your members post messages, memes, gifs, or images multiple times, the rest will be deterred from interacting with them. You must ensure that the members don’t spam by relentlessly posting irrelevant messages or DMs.

4. Don’t advertise 

Your members should be disallowed from posting promotional messages. It can include advertising products or items for sale, sharing referral links, discount coupons, images, profiles, etc.

5. Don’t bully or harass

Online bullying must be banned in any online community. It’s why you must have zero tolerance for any form of bullying behavior. It can include defamation, shaming, gossiping, or sharing personal information without seeking prior permission. Another strict no-no is emotional, mental, or sexual harassment of any kind. For instance, your members should not comment on each other’s physical appearance, voice, or background.

6. No personal attacks

Sometimes, there may be debates in the community. While they can be constructive, the situation turns ugly when things get heated. Your members must refrain from attacking one another personally because that’s a one-way ticket to community disharmony.

7. Don’t let misinformation spread 

Fake news is quickly becoming the biggest threat to the largest social media platforms. Your online community is no different because it isn’t a platform for spreading misinformation. It is your responsibility to remove posts that propagate apparent falsehoods and strictly warn members who post them

Conclusion

While the above points seem obvious, you may be surprised at how frequently online community members flaunt them. It will help if you can document the don’ts of how members are expected to behave.

You can add it to your community guidelines, membership forms, welcome emails, or cover photos. Alternatively, you can also share this blog with your new members so that they understand what can get them removed from or put under notice in your community.