I participated in a Facebook Community workshop today about Managing Conflict, such a great session. This workshop discussed strategies for handling difficult members and responding to conflict. Great tips from a fellow community leaders, thank you Nicole and Deran!
Reflecting on this, there are times our Facebook groups, pages and our own personal profiles experience conflict between members, friends, etc. Conflict can arise from a difference of opinion, misunderstanding, confusion or controversy. Respectful disagreement and debate can be part of a healthy community. If a disagreement turns disrespectful or breaks your group rules, your admin actions can help get the group back on the right track. When conflict occurs, such as a heated conversation in a thread, admins recommend acting quickly. Get involved before the situation escalates. Speedy action helps reset the tone of the conversation and lets group members know you care by being present. If you see a thread that has gone off track, experienced admins recommend the following:
Engage with the member in the comments and try to reset the tone of the conversation.
If needed, restate the rules in the comments of the thread, and turn off commenting.
Leave the thread visible so others can learn what happened.
Group members take your actions seriously. When tensions and emotions run high, admins recommend taking a moment to think about how a new member would react to what you are about to say before posting. Model the behavior you wish to see in your group. If moderation isn't working, consider temporarily muting the member. Allow some time for the discussion (and the member) to cool down. When all else fails, feel empowered to remove members from your group.
Many admins using Facebook said they were initially unsure about removing people from the group, but realized it was sometimes necessary. As an admin, you uphold the culture and rules of your community. Members appreciate your moderation, including removing other members who aren't following your community's rules.
Some admins say they'll temporarily turn on post approvals to calm things down. Once things have cooled down, they'll turn post approvals off again.
"Quickly confronting issues when they arise helps reduce the impact of conflict situations."
All great information to keep in mind in managing our Facebook groups!