The Community Club


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How do you manage the risk of people hijacking your community❓

How do you manage the risk of people hijacking your community❓

A community by definition has some degree on openness.

⚡ 1. People come inside and spam their stuff (we all know how this is done, you just delete it, but the community was already disrupted)
⚡ 2. Someone can infiltrate your communicate and private message and spam all your members as they are visible on most platforms.
⚡ 3. MORE ADVANCED: Someone could collect data over the long term about all of your members activity, get their contact data, names, messages etc and then later use it to spam them and push commercial offers or even political ideas. I guess this is not even complicated, actually it's quite easy.

Discussion (3)

alex profile image
Alex Angel

Depending on the platform, there are built-in tools and features that help mitigate some degree of spam. If you have a large, open community you'll never be able to get rid of or prevent all of it, but you can build additional safeguards against it and provide tools for your members to quickly and easily report it to you so you can take action against it. Even in smaller, private community spaces you still run the risk of individuals DMing folks to sell things or over promoting in public channels, but that's easier to handle by having solid rules and escalation policies in place.

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Paul OBrien • Edited on

Identifying the really, truly bad seeds that are just spammers, vandals, and nasty ones who have no desire to get along is not hard after you've been doing this for a while; I tell my mods and CMs not to be shy about just banning them. In the long run, they will do nothing more than monopolize the mod team's time, and add no value to the community. The real successes come when you've got someone on the borderline and you can turn them into a positive influence and community advocate! Often all it takes is to give them back the POSITIVE attention and energy that's the opposite of what they're putting out; some people come to the keyboard feeling like they are shouting into the void; once there's a human face that is genuinely telling them they are being heard, their initial motivations -- feeling disconnected, ignored, frustrated -- can be turned to very good use, and they can even become very sticky community pillars.

oana profile image
Oana Filip

Hi David! Well, I guess that you can't control everything, can you? First of all, shitty things will happen. It's a fact, and we can't do too much about it. Second of all, there are a few tactics that you could use to protect yourself. For instance, you can create a code of conduct. You can also highlight the values of your community as often as possible. Just endorse them every time you make a decision. On top of that, you have the freedom to protect the core and leave some members go.

Another approach is to run 1:1s with members and get insights from them, too. You might be surprised with the answers you get.

Cheers! 👋