Facebook Group Transition Plan

On November 5, 2020 a poll was created within the Blue Ridge Beltane Community Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlueRidgeBeltaneVA) ending on November 11, 2020.  This poll was created by the BRB planning committee read as follows:

Dear BRB Community,

We on the BRB planning committee have received back the admin privileges to this community page.

We are here and listening and want to know what we all, collectively think is the best way for the page to be managed. We have outlined some options below and would like to keep this poll open for a week (ending 11/11/2020 at 11:59pm) to properly get enough feedback to make an informed decision together.

In the meantime, this group will be open with little moderation.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication.

Sincerely, BRB Committee 

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All three options utilize four (4) non-planning committee members of the community to perform moderation duties.  Moderation essentially is just ensuring the terms and conditions  of the group are met, including no hate speech, no personal attacks, no bullying, no anti-LGBTQA+ language, etc..  These moderators would be selected through a brief vetting process.

Option 1.   

Administration of the group would be kept in the hands of the Committee, specifically the Communications Director and a backup person on the committee, in case the first is not available.  Duties of this administrator would be to help and maintain the number of moderators and to help the moderators in coming to a decision ONLY if requested. The real job of this administrator would be to assist the moderators.  Administrators would not be responsible for removing content or users, unless requested to do so by the moderation group.

Option 2.   

Administration of the group would be solely in the hands of the group of moderators.  The BRB planning committee would request that they be removed from the administration and moderation of the group once the moderation group feels comfortable.  Once the committee members are removed from the admin and moderator privileges, the group is 100% self governing.

Option 3.   

Administration and moderation would be a combined group of planning committee members and non-committee members.  Administration of the group would remain a committee duty, but this administrator would also be a moderator.

A fourth option was offered by a community member:

Option 4.
Administration of the group would be solely in the hands of the moderators, indefinitely.

As of November 11, 2020 the voting results are as follows:

  • Option 1: 5 votes
  • Option 2: 3 votes
  • Option 3: 25 votes
  • Option 4: 1 vote

Plan for implementation of Option 3:

Administration and moderation would be a combined group of planning committee members and non-committee members.  Administration of the group would remain a committee duty, but this administrator would also be a moderator.

This plan for going forward in the administration and moderation of the public Facebook group will initially be as follows.  Once community moderators are in place this plan will be revisited in order to better reflect the will of the community as a whole.

  1. Change the name of the Facebook group from “Blue Ridge Beltane” to “Blue Ridge Beltane Community”.  This would be done to better demonstrate the group’s community ownership.
  2. Begin searching for 3 to 5 moderators from within the community, having no direct ties to the planning committee.  This delineation would not be to create a separation between the planning committee and the community at large, but to ensure that moderation and administration is being done in a transparent manner, consistent with the purpose of the group.  Selection of these first moderators will be done by requesting volunteers and doing a simple look through their Facebook profiles in order to make sure they have been members of the group for at least a year and have no history of intolerance. Potential volunteers may use the following link to submit their information:
    https://blueridgebeltane.org/facebook-moderator/
  3. Administration of the group would be placed in the hands of the communications director and one other member of the planning committee for redundancy.  In addition, one other non-committee administrator would be chosen by the community based moderators.

Administrators:

Administrators are the basic caretakers of the groups settings and management.  No ownership or authority should be inferred by the term administrator.

Duties:

  1. Adding and removing moderators as needed
  2. Maintaining and update the groups rules and other group settings
  3. Make changes as directed by the moderators group

Moderators:

Moderators would handle the day to day monitoring of the content of the group.  They would be responsible for ensuring that the values of the Blue Ridge Beltane Festival community are reflected in the content of posts.  They are NOT responsible for creating or directing content in any way.  

Optimally, there would be 3-5 non-committee moderators in addition to the two admin/moderators from the planning committee.

Duties:

  1. Removing content that is in opposition to the basic tenants of the values of the BRB community.  Such content would include, but is not limited to:
    1. Religious or spiritual intolerance
    2. Racism or anti-blackness
    3. White supremacy
    4. Anti-Semitism
    5. Sexism or misogyny
    6. Transphobia
    7. Queer-phobia
    8. Ableism
    9. Other forms of prejudice, bigotry or discrimination
    10. Bullying or harassment of individuals by name or association
    11. Making public personal information of group members without their consent.  This includes photography.
  2. Finding and vetting new/replacement moderators
  3. Removing individuals from the group who repeatedly demonstrate ideologies, faiths, or identities rooted in power imbalances or discriminatory behaviors.
  4. Maintain group standards and make requests of administrators as needed.

Removing content:

When a question of if content is to be removed or if a particular thread is getting out of control, optimally a majority of the moderators can come to a consensus within a running group chat within a reasonable amount of time. At that time content may be removed or further commenting on a thread may be suspended.  These processes will evolve. The desire of this statement is to allow the moderation team to create their own norms and processes.

The planning committee will help facilitate a meeting with moderators and administrators in order to fully document processes and procedures in order to ensure consistency and accountability for all involved.

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