coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, January 13, 2017

Moderating Moderately

I belong to a secret Facebook group; sounds ominous, right? It isn't. Secret FB groups are like all organizations people voluntarily join, except they are virtual. The term "secret" is unfortunate because it raises the creepy quotient.

Facebook has 3 privacy settings for groups: Public, Closed, Secret. Anyone can join or see what members posts on the Public group. Closed groups have more privacy protections including the fact that one has to be asked to join or invited by a current member, and only current members can see posts. Secret groups provide the safest space because only current members can see who is in the group or find the group in a search. 

My group is small, focusing on calls to action and verified news. We do not wallow in negativity or fake news inspired hysteria. We want the facts. We are trying to be adults and encourage positive political action. Until I joined, I was reluctant to publicly voice my political concerns on my personal FB page because of rabid comments I received from the extreme left or extreme right of the political spectrum.

It wasn't the disagreement that bothered me, it was the vicious meanness in tone. Dehumanizing one's opponent is a stone cold drag. I am SO done with that nonsense, and I fear it will get worse with Twitter becoming a political conduit.

Which brings me to my point. I volunteer as a moderator for this group, deleting comments or posts that do not adhere to the rules. I am sometimes abused by members who are outraged or embarrassed at having their posts/comments deleted. But the rules are clear. This group is trying to be serious, positive, and effective; we are trying to go high. If your post/comment goes way down low, or directs others to fake news sites, it is GOING to be deleted. There are also the people who join with the sole intent of disrupting the group. They get the boot.

The thing is, this volunteer gig is beginning to remind me of all those years I spent working as a manager or a supervisor. Sheesh. Why, oh why do I "raise my hand" and take on responsibility? I wonder how long I need to wait to retire from the moderator role and just become a member again? I mean, without hating myself for being a wimp?  Because...I don't want to be a wimp. I want to do the right thing, even if it is the hard thing.



26 comments:

  1. Well done! Keep it up.
    I'm in a secret group but it's just my family exchanging gossip.

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    1. I belong to a family secret group trying to pull together a cookbook. It is always fun when bit of gossip is included with a recipe or photo.

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  2. I belong to a secret group, too, very like, or possibly the same as yours, though my group has grown to close to four million members. I find it very useful for "action" items. The women who started it have become political activists, in a short time. The moderators have risen to the job. I cannot imagine.

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    1. I do belong to what I imagine is the secret group you are referring to, but the one I moderate is a different one (smaller, more local).

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  3. Hang tough. It's never easy but can be worthwhile. I love a good political discussion with a sensible person. I can learn so much that way. But when people start to belittle or become hurtful I will end the discussion.

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  4. Just be yourself, Colette.
    You are lovely, strong and smart. Don't be anywhere for anyone else. In doing that you bring the best to the party and it helps more than you can know. Have faith in Colette.

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    1. I appreciate your support and kind words.

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  5. You are very brave. I have been hiding from politics and political discussions. They are important, but right now I feel so powerless in the face of a crazy political tsunami, I've run for cover. I hope things can change with thoughtful political discourse, and I thank you for trying.

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    1. I hear you. If I was really brave I'd be showing up in person to meetings. I'm starting slow (moderating this FB group) and seeing how it goes.

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  6. Positivity and action are what really work. I hope your group is successful and brings you satisfaction.

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  7. Good for you. Not just talking but doing! But it does seem to always end up babysitting the ones who haven't quite grown up yet!

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    1. Yes. I get tired of the lowered standards of civility in this country.

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  8. And it is the right thing - and the reason we humans do not always do it, is it hard. Answer to: how long do I have to... is... so long as you want others to do the right thing - even when it's hard - you have to try, also. We can switch out the right things -we can switch from one difficult thing to another - but the day we give up trying to make a contribution... well, that's a sad day indeed - and part of it what got us to where we are today. We all have power. Some of us know it. Some of us don't. Some of us - because we've known about it for longer and have been doing our best to use it wise for longer - have more skill. Some have less - because they have less experience or fewer models. But - we ALL have power. And we ALL have a calling. And we ALL have a role to play in shifting our people and our planet forward. The question is: Will we answer that calling and be part of that shift? If the answer is "no," then things will happen in a slower and more grueling way. There will be more suffering and sooner or later that suffering will touch us personally. Some of us know that - and that's how we stay motivated. Some of us don't.

    Basically, thank you for saying "yes" and please do include self-care in your work.

    With heart, ZC

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    1. Thanks For answering my question. This is what I needed to hear.

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  9. Moderating is like Auditing... you're going to have to find and address the things that those that did them aren't going to like... and often vilified in the Process. Dirty jobs but somebody has to do them, I applaud you for stepping up for your Group to volunteer, do it for as long as you want to... and when you don't want to anymore pass the torch. Politics right now are even more of a controversial topic than they ever were and so very polarized that it's become quite divisive in our Country and I grieve that sad fact. Wish we could still be a United States of American... the direction we're heading a Divided States of America seems to be a more accurate description unfortunately. But I agree with ZC, each of us must continue to do what is Right and hope the ripples we make in our small Pond and sphere of influence is Positive and instills Hope and perhaps promotes Change. Virtual Hugs... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  10. Yet another reason I am not on FaceBook.

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    1. Believe me, I totally see the wisdom in that!

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  11. How long have you been moderating. Don't burn yourself out.
    Someone hacked my FB account and I deactivated. I'm not in a big hurry to rejoin.
    Good for you for going high. Speaking of which, did you see the bio on Michelle. It was very impressive.

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    1. I've only been doing this a few weeks. Your advice not to burn out is good advice. I tend to jump in with all guns blazing, which definitely leads to burnout. I need to embrace the full meaning of the word moderation. I missed the Michelle bio, sorry to say.

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  12. I'm in a local, secret activist group, too. It's necessary in such a red area as I live in.

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    1. Too true! Happy to hear you have that support network.

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So, whadayathink?