Social Network Moderator Guidelines


Guidelines for Facebook Group participants and moderators on Occupy San Diego Group [and any other OWS channel that wishes to use them].

The Occupy San Diego Facebook Group is an open forum for discussion. Anyone, anywhere in the world has a right to participate. While participants can express their opinions, these guidelines exist to ensure the functionality of the Group as a place to build discourse and provide information on and around OSD and the Global Direct Democracy Movement.

We have created this Group on Facebook for various topics and functions. If you have an issue with a moderator, email moderators and include your username, the name of the moderator, a detailed reason for complaint, and quote the post transcript if possible.

The Occupy San Diego Facebook Group serves individuals speaking every language on earth. We recommend partially accurate machine translation via as a stopgap measure to understand languages you don’t speak, and new technical solutions are in the works.

The United States is a country which does not permit Prior Restraint in online forum communications as has been recently reaffirmed in federal courts. Prior Restraint is the idea that, for example, the government cannot send tanks to the New York Times to stop printing presses, and likewise collectives of Facebook groups and pages cannot be held responsible for improper statements in any language on their pages or in their groups.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.

- Occupy San Diego Facebook Group team.

Guidelines for the Occupy San Diego Facebook Group participants and moderators:

We ask that forum participants share questions, discussions and information relevant to the direct democracy and Occupy movements, especially immediately important information and links, in a respectful and non-repetitive fashion. Contact moderators for any issues involving chat room moderators.

Participants MAY NOT:
  • Post fake donation or malicious virus links.
  • Post expressive messages which violate the Facebook Terms of Use including expressive content which is illegal in the State of California and United States. This is broadly understood to include content which advocates imminent violence and illegal activities as well as illegal drug use in the State of California, and links to material of that nature.
  • Make racist, sexist, or prejudiced. remarks, or post links to sources of that nature.
  • Messages which violate mutual respect would include:
    • Directly insult or threaten other group participants or moderators.
  • We ask that chat participants please direct concerns about these guidelines to moderators, rather than discussing extensively in the group.
  • While no forum guidelines can be perfect, we ask that participants address these difficult issues in a spirit of mutual respect and equality.·
  • Under the goals of mutual respect, equality, and unity, we ask that group participants:
    • Do not Request that other group participants be banned.
    • Do not attempt to disrupt or monopolize the group conversation.
    • This includes:Do not flood or spam the group with repetitive messages or unlabeled repetitive links.

If possible, please keep group participant messages in plain text style (not bold, italics or ALL CAPS). This is not a rule but helps the Facebook Group team and participants understand more clearly what is going on. Please reserve the bold/italic combination for moderators). This is not a ban-triggering violation, but a request made in the spirit of mutual respect. Unfortunately the technical platform does not allow us to determine text styling rules.


If, after a warning from a moderator, someone continues to violate the movement principles of mutual respect, equality, and unity, a moderator may trigger a 24 hour time out.

However, to maintain accountability between the group community and the Occupy/direct democracy movements, the moderators may issue 24 hour bans without reaching a consensus among the group’s active moderators, but they need to post supporting information on the moderator team chat including if possible direct quotes. The usage of clearing users previous messages needs to be minimized mainly to malicious links and other technically dangerous content, because clearing individual messages reduces the moderators’ accountability. Continued abuse of the rules and guidelines derived from mutual respect, unity and equality will result in either a 2 week or permanent ban depending on the extent of the participant’s disruptive behavior.

Guidelines for the Occupy San Diego Group participants and moderators

Moderators should abide by the principles of the General Assembly, including mutual respect, non-hierarchical organizing, solidarity, unity and equality.

Moderators MAY:
  • Use bold and/or italic lettering to help their identification in the group.
  • Ban participants that are neglecting to follow the group guidelines, in accordance with the rules and accountability laid out above.
  • Use the “delete post” for an individual user sparingly.
  • Express their independent opinions, but not force them on the group as a whole.

Moderators MUST:
  • Respectfully enforce participant guidelines in the group.
  • Follow the same guidelines of mutual respect, equality and unity as participants.
  • Warn a group participant at least once, preferably twice before employing a ban or time-out, and inform the participant as to why and for how long they may be banned.
  • Act independently in deciding to ban participants, i.e. – not in response to the requests of other participants.

Moderators MAY NOT:
  • Claim that their opinions, statements or the information they choose to give is representative of the entire Occupy/direct democracy movements.
  • Permanently ban any participant unless they post fake donation or malicious virus links, advocate violence/illegal activities or racism, use hate speech, or continually refuse to abide by above guidelines.
  • Exclude, insult or ban any participant based on their opinions.

Further suggestions and goals:
  • There should always be more than one moderator in the group.
  • Moderators, like participants, are subject to group removal if they repeatedly fail to respect the guidelines.
  • If possible everyone involved should be well-rested. Preferably moderators should not have been awake more than 12+ hours when they are moderating. Moderators should be training for more moderators to ensure that they are not moderating for extended periods of time. We deal with extreme levels of pressure on both the activist and moderation sides — and it’s vital to recruit more moderators while avoiding burnout and extreme stress in all respects.

We have a very important job here to distribute and discuss information that will bring generosity and honesty into our world. We cannot afford to lose people who are feeling verbally abused. We also cannot afford to spend hours wrapped up in matters that take time away from planning direct action, outreach, and other methods to spread our message. Time is short. We need every second we have.

Topic revision: r1 - 14 Jan 2012, RaymondLutz
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