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Managing Abusive Online Community Members (or "The Mean Things People Say to Moderators")

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During this lighthearted presentation, I shared some of the many mean things that members of my online community have said to me in my role as a moderator and community manager.

We can all have a laugh at that, but over the years, I've also developed a process for handling them and ensuring that the impact of them on my staff is minimized.

These funny comments serve as the narrative for those practical lessons.

Managing Abusive Online Community Members (or "The Mean Things People Say to Moderators")

  1. 1. Managing Abusive Online Community Members (or “The Mean Things People Say to Moderators”)
  2. 2. PATRICK O’KEEFE ENTREPRENEUR ONLINE COMMUNITY BOOKS PUBLIC SPEAKER Founder and owner, iFroggy Network, responsible for everything you see. “Managing Online Forums” and “Monetizing Online Forums.” CONNECT WITH ME Twitter: @patrickokeefe Facebook: /patrickokeefe Google+: +patrickokeefe Over 13 years of hands on community management experience, leading communities like CNN, Dell, FedEx, SXSW Interactive, Northwestern and more. Blog: Email: SlideShare: /iFroggy
  3. 3. The quotes in these slides are real and, at times, real frightening. They are excerpted, for length and for sanity. Any typos present are the fault of the nice people who wrote these comments. Viewer discretion is advised.
  4. 4. "This is ridiculous. You over-moderate this forum to no I didn't realize it was under Nazi control. end. It's a f*cking sports forum... And by the way, take yourself off "Statistics". Yes, you have like a freakin million posts, but you also spend all your time posting on every topic that exists on this site and STILL nobody gives a sh*t about what you have to say. You're the moderator, not God. Drop the power trip and spend a little time trying to get laid. Do*chebag."
  6. 6. “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” - Godwin’s Law
  7. 7. “Still the almighty forum nazi huh Patrick? You're such a pompous jacka**.”
  8. 8. “You know, Hitler would be proud of the way you run your boards.”
  9. 9. How Did We Get Here?
  10. 10. “I've had it up to here (indicates eyebrow height) with Patrick's pathetic modding of this, his forum. ... now that I've decided to leave, it's finally safe to express my opinion of the nazi in charge. You're a spineless f*ck, Patrick with your insipid tv pc McMorality, get a life. I only wish you lived closer so I could say it to your face.”
  11. 11. “Why The F*ck Would You Send Me This You F*ckin’ Do*che Bag? You & That Other Fudge Packer [Other Member] Must Be In On It! I`m Over At Hockeyforums Now, Look Up [His Name]. That Forum Has Class, You Pushin` Pennies Pus*y!”
  12. 12. How I Handle Abuse Directed at My Staff
  13. 13. “I am not claiming to have the social wingspan of a 747 but a lot of martial artists will find out about this backwards, narrow minded website. Goodbye and please don't answer my E-Mail your superiors and constituents will receive the necessary communications.” Patrick’s Boss
  14. 14. "Make no mistake, I, as well as others, will be contacting your boss, the head of [link exchange partner] to inform him of the way you have handled this matter." Patrick Patrick’s Boss
  15. 15. “Patrick, you are indeed a rigid little tyrant. You are just so hypersensitive. I see this a simple discussion and negotiation. You see this as disiplinary action and admonishment. If you want to be the Bull Goose Looney, fine.”
  16. 16. Respond, Don’t Respond or...
  17. 17. I understand this is your job, and its all about the ads for you but surely you can take a little more risk?
  18. 18. “I have seen so many posts talk about [how] ineffective BJJ is and how its incomplete... but whenever i say anything like that about karate... my post gets deleted and i get a message about how i violated some guideline. Its funny... it might have something to do NOT with the fact ME that you yourself train karate.”
  19. 19. COMIC
  20. 20. “That’s like telling a black person to stop being black. Everyone has different posting styles. My font color, my gender, my sexuality, my religion, NONE OF IT should affect me getting support.”
  21. 21. The focus of my community should be support, rather than… “the soccer mom side of [me].”
  22. 22. Always Document and Share
  23. 23. “This forum is run by an… immature meglomaniac wannabe with a passing interest in martial arts & a HUGE ego.”
  24. 24. "I am an excellent judge of character and do not consider you to be a bad person, but i do believe your refusal to listen to the statements and/or advice of others pushes you further and further into a... state of egoism that could very well be your eventual downfall, through life and through business"
  25. 25. After You Ban
  26. 26. “You are a f*cking Nazi. I disagree with your moderation. Kill yourself.” IS NOT THE SAME AS “I disagree with your moderation.” SO YOU CAN’T SAY “You banned me because I disagreed.”
  27. 27. “I did have you on the list of honest sites... Honest Sites List 1. Patrick’s Site 2. Sites That Let Me Spam ... that actaually have flexability in promoting and growing the martial arts indistry. I will remove you from the list. and i'l make sure my affiliates will do the same.”
  28. 28. “How's about I give you 36 hours from receipt of this e-mail to prove these so called reasons [for banning me]. And if you don't - maybe I'll have my solicitors get them. You can either read this and perhaps we can reason and come to terms, or I can simply pursue matters further. The choice it yours.”
  29. 29. Don’t Forget the Good Things and the Kind People
  30. 30. “This is the only [martial arts] forum I’ve seen where people are respectful.” - MasterPain
  31. 31. “I found the conversation mature, well administrated and informative. I feel we are a mixed bunch with a rich and varied knowledge base. It’s fun to see what people do in martial arts, to share and enjoy good banter and community friendship.” - Harkon72
  32. 32. “KF was the only online community where the moderators made you feel safe from flaming ridicule for simply having a different opinion, or not being as informed as others.” - SBN Doug
  33. 33. “The atmosphere and the genuine sharing of the participants was the best.” - SaiFightsMS
  34. 34. “I’ve stuck around because there’s a really great and positive community on this forum. It got me through a really difficult time in life.” - ps1
  36. 36. The Profile of a Community Manager or Moderator* * - Through the Eyes of a Banned (or Angry) Member
  37. 37. Dirty F*ckbag
  38. 38. THANK YOU KEEP IN TOUCH If I can help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Twitter: @patrickokeefe Facebook: /patrickokeefe Google+: +patrickokeefe BOOKS Blog: Email: SlideShare: /iFroggy “Managing Online Forums”: “Monetizing Online Forums”: (free download) ALWAYS REMEMBER You are not alone.