So you have been thinking about starting a Facebook Group and being a Facebook Administrator. You might think its all fun and games having a public group. Well in many ways it is but just be careful of the pitfalls.
I started and still run two successful groups as a Facebook Administrator. Here are my experiences and the ins and outs that I have learnt over the years.
The first Group: 3 Squadron – Semper Pugnans. SAAF
This group I started on 19 January 2011. It was meant to be a place where all who were members of the old 3 Squadron could stay in touch. The group runs seamlessly as all the members know and respect each other. There have been no arguments or fights.
The closed group currently has 878 members. It is unfortunately a closed group only allowing past members or family of these members to join.
Being the Facebook Administrator of the group is a breeze!
Second Group: Benoni Community Network
This group I started on 17 July 2013 and it holds 25 153 members (5 March 2019)
The group started off slowly and only started taking off in the last 2 and a half years. The main objective of this group is for the people of Benoni and surrounding areas to help each other with recommendations, jobs, missing pets and any other questions people might have.
No business advertising is allowed on the group which is a nightmare for the group admin to control. I was forced to change the setting so that each post has to be approved before it gets posted on the group. With 25 153 members, you can imagine the number of posts each day.
Keeping the group inline with Facebook’s rules is also not an easy task. Below are the groups rules that we have set up to try and keep the group running smoothly.
Group Rules for Benoni Community Network
No business advertising or promotion posts will be tolerated. Businesses may respond to members asking for recommendations or advice. NPO’s, NGO’s and charity organizations are allowed to post adverts to raise funds or awareness. Failure to adhere to this rule will get you removed from the group.
Pets and Animals
No posts containing the selling or giving away of any animals is allowed on this group. This goes against Facebook and the groups policies. Failure to adhere to this rule will get you removed from the group.
Be Kind and Courteous
Be kind and courteous to each other. No hate speech, racist comments, defamatory remarks, adult content or political posts or comments are allowed on the group. We are all in this together so lets work with each other to make this group and our community a better place for all.
Naming and Shaming
No naming and shaming will be tolerated in this group. Naming and shaming could result in legal implications against you and also include the admins and other members commenting on such posts. Failure to adhere to this rule will get you removed from the group.
Asking for donations and begging
Times are tough in our current economy and many people are in need. There are groups and organizations like Families Assist that can help you. Admins of this group don’t have the means to investigate these type of posts. No posts requesting donations from individuals are allowed in this group.
Facebook’s Group Rules applying to Benoni Community Group
I am not going to quote all their rules – these can be viewed here.
One of the subjects that pop up frequently is the giving away or selling of animals on Facebook. This goes against FB’s rules and with all the Dog Fighting going around we don’t allow any posts containing pets for sale etc.
Posting Photos of Criminals or Crimes on Social Media
This is something that should be avoided as it could land you in hot water.
Don’t publish photos of suspected criminals on social media, says police
The reckless publishing of photographs of arrested suspects and/or wanted persons on social media can have severe consequences. Read more here …
Lessons I have learnt as Group Admin
One of the biggest lessons learnt is the “Naming and Shaming” Game. We used to allow posts where members would post negative issues against institutions and other people. As the Group Administrator, I have been contacted by these institutions and subtly threatened with law suits etc.
After reading up what the law states about slandering on social media I realized that the Group Administrator can be held accountable together with the person making the post. As a result, no naming and shaming posts are allowed on the group. This is something that should be avoided in groups and personal timelines.
Other subjects to be avoided in a general public group are Religion, Racism, members asking for money and other hateful or negative comments.
With all the scams going around its safer for all if posts are not allowed from people asking for money with some sad story attached. Sure, there are many genuine cases where folks are down and out, but they should rather approach the relevant organizations that can investigate and help. One of these is Families Assist.
Becoming Group Administrator
Starting your own Facebook Group and becoming a Group Administrator can be fun provided you keep a tight reign on the content of posts and keep negativity out of the group.
Running a group can be very rewarding when you see how members help each other with various issues.
If you need help starting a Facebook Group, you are welcome to contact me and I will help you set it up and get it off the ground.