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How to Develop a Moderation Policy to Protect Your Brand and Community

By Çiler Ay on Tue, 30 Jan 2018

A good comment moderation policy is important for protecting your fans and yourself. Certain brands, industries and communities may fall victim to targeted abuse. With the right moderation approach, you can put your worries at ease and rid your communities from trolls while still protecting free speech. And while some brands may struggle with flame wars—news or politically oriented brands, for example—putting a discussion policy in place can lead to more respectful conversation.


The ideal moderation policy should encourage quality discussion that can add value to a brand or community. When a safe, spam-free space is established where everyone can share their viewpoint, your community becomes stronger. Content creators and publishers can in turn use their audiences’ insights to generate more content. In fact, the comments section becomes a wonderful supplement to your content!

It should not be understated that your moderation approach should protect your brand’s reputation, too. When a social media disaster strikes, swift community management can make or break a company’s reputation.


Ensure your community standards team is sensitive and diverse.

A community management team should remain sensitive and empathetic to different groups and cultures. By gathering input from a diverse team of people, you can anticipate challenges and avoid controversies later down the line.

Identify how your moderation policy deals with certain topics.

You should begin by considering your audience, brand and brand values. This helps you determine what topics or words you should make off-limits in discussion. Consider, for example, whether you want to ban all profanity to make your community child-friendly. Most brands might want to ban political discussion to avoid flame wars, but if you’re a news publisher, you would want to allow it.

Make a discussion policy flow chart.

It’s important that you plan how your team will deal with comments step-by-step. Who will enforce the discussion policy, and who will answer other engagement from users? Establish a calendar that spells out everyone’s shifts and responsibilities.

It’s also worth considering external personnel like law enforcement or child protection services. Make a list of contacts outside the team who may need to be consulted in special cases. Finally, design a community management crisis plan to anticipate social media disasters.

Ensure your community understands your moderation approach.

When your list of community standards is completed, post it somewhere on your profiles so users are aware. When someone breaks a rule and you remove their comment, consider informing them about why you did so. Ideally, there should be no surprise for commenters as to what is and isn’t allowed.

Enforce your discussion policy more easily with artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence can dramatically cut down the time you spend dealing with comments. Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, tools like Smart Moderation can sift out problematic comments according to your custom moderation approach or defined keywords. This software uses Facebook’s community standards as a baseline, but can be trained to enforce any discussion policy you set.

Unlike other keyword blacklists, this tool blocks not only your defined keywords, but misspellings as well. You can also moderate in multiple languages, and it will detect spam with ease. With this tool, you won’t have to waste time approving or hiding comments. Anything that breaks your rules is hidden automatically within a minute of posting.

Finally, this around-the-clock service collects all your comments into a single dashboard. Connect it to all your brand’s social media profiles to see your full community’s engagement in one place. This makes it even easier for teams to coordinate, analyze and engage with brand comments, freeing up time you can better spend connecting to your fans.

Get started now to protect your brand with proactive community management and comment moderation. Sign up for a free trial with Smart Moderation today!

Tags: Comment Moderation, Guide