Managing conflict between members

"We encourage people to use the report function to report posts that need moderation."


Group Admin

In order to keep the group on the right track, when you see conflict happening, step in as a mediator as soon as possible.

Joelle, Group Admin

Key Tips
  • Rely on your members to report heated conversations and help moderate the group.
  • Encourage people to use the report to admin tool to flag posts that need admin moderation.
  • If someone does break a rule, reiterate the rules in the comments and consider closing comments on that thread.
  • If you see something that goes against Facebook's Community Standards, report it directly to Facebook.

Some admins write calm, clear responses ahead of time to use later in conflict situations.

From time to time, your group may experience conflict between members. Conflict can arise from a difference of opinion, misunderstanding, confusion or controversy. Respectful disagreement and debate can be part of a healthy community. If a disagreement turns disrespectful or breaks your group rules, your admin actions can help get the group back on the right track.

When conflict occurs, such as a heated conversation in a thread, admins recommend acting quickly. Get involved before the situation escalates. Speedy action helps reset the tone of the conversation and lets group members know you care by being present.

If you see a thread that has gone off track, experienced admins recommend the following:

  • Engage with the member in the comments and try to reset the tone of the conversation.
  • If needed, restate the rules in the comments of the thread, and turn off commenting.
  • Leave the thread visible so others can learn what happened.

Group members take your actions seriously. When tensions and emotions run high, admins recommend taking a moment to think about how a new member would react to what you are about to say before posting. Model the behavior you wish to see in your group.

If moderation isn't working, consider temporarily muting the member. Allow some time for the discussion (and the member) to cool down. When all else fails, feel empowered to remove members from your group.

Many admins we spoke to told us that they were initially unsure about removing people from the group, but realized it was sometimes necessary. As an admin, you uphold the culture and rules of your community. Members appreciate your moderation, including removing other members who aren't following your community's rules. For more on how to deal with difficult members, check out our article here.

Some admins we spoke with said they'll temporarily turn on post approvals to calm things down. Once things have cooled down, they'll turn post approvals off again.

In extreme cases, such as something that goes against Facebook's Community Standards (nudity, hate speech or threats of violence), you or someone on your team can report the post to Facebook. Use the report link near the post, photo or comment to report it directly.

It is unlikely you can watch your group all the time. Experienced admins recommend enlisting members' help by asking them to report heated conversations to an admin so they can take appropriate action.

Audio transcript

"Our group is so big, we rely on the members to moderate the group. We encourage people to use the report function to report [to admin] posts that need moderation. If someone does break a rule, usually we will make a comment in the comments [stating] what rule they broke, why it's not allowed, and ask them to read the rules, and then we'll close comments on the thread. That way the person that posted it is definitely going to see it, but there are going to be others that also read that and can be educated about that.

If you have a person in your group that is malicious towards other people and you don’t do anything about it, the other members, they’re going to say: 'Well, if this group is like this then I don’t want to be here anymore,' and they’ll leave." - Jeff, Group Admin

Quickly confronting issues when they arise helps reduce the impact of conflict situations.

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