@richard_millington I like this approach. But do you only use it when you believe they didn’t intend to offend? What if you’re unsure? What do you do then?
Is the assumption here that you’re the moderator or the Community Manager? If so, they should never mock or offend the person back. The Moderator/Community Manager must always remain professional and stick impartially to the site guidelines. Therefore offending them back or mocking would be highly uncalled for.
The post shouldn’t be removed in full. And removing them without explanation will likely get them to come back on a second account. Both will call censorship and the site’s credibility into question. It’s not often what you have to say but rather how it is said that is a problem.
How did you find out about the comment? Reading on your own? Abuse Report? PM from a member? Email from members? If email or private message, encourage the member to officially “report” it so it’s “on the books”.
- Only the things that are prohibited or offensive should be edited/removed. This way the community sees that you’re upholding the rules that members accept as part of membership.
- Reaching out to the member may be effective but before you do so, check the rest of the topic to see if there is anything that might have sparked the comment.
The Moderators/Community Manager should be part of the community. They need to be consistent and impartial with their judgments. Established members shouldn’t be able to band together and run other members out of town. And the Community Manager shouldn’t be encouraging it either.
Take a deep breath. Send a note if you feel it might get the person to alter their comment. If it’s not likely to be productive then editing with a clear note why it was edited should help. Always reference the rule being enforced as well and provide a permalink to the guidelines. It’s better that they read them, even if after the fact. And who knows, maybe they will turn things around and become a constructive part of the community.
The other approach I have also taken is to get involved in the conversation and understand where the comment came from. Get both sides to work together.
I also go and look at the person’s history, especially with others involved in the conversation. Sometimes there is a back-history that is going on that finally resulted in a public squabble. Don’t be afraid to moderate that content as well. Sometimes things fly under the wire until something big happens.
You set the tone for your community… Everything won’t magically pop in the moderation queue for you…