Moderation and guidelines

Moderation of any Facebook site is important, but particularly during an emergency. Both the Firewatch and Recovery groups created strong guidelines, in conjunction with members about what was suitable to be posted and what would be deleted.

The guidelines are only the first step, with admins needing to apply them consistently and often. Group members who are not willing to abide by the guidelines should be removed from the group or page.

BMFR admins worked to find a balance between accurate information, and eye-witness reports. These skills developed over time in both the admin team, and the wider group membership. Members often challenged unverified reports and tagged admins when a discussion was heading in the wrong direction.

BMFR admins have also developed different protocols for emergency and non-emergency times, and members understand these different guidelines. However, with continued growth of the group, regular reminders of the guidelines are useful.