Mon 30 Nov 2020 12:17AM

2020 Facebook Moderation and Community Posting Guidelines

EJ Erin Jeavons-Fellows Public Seen by 47

Proposer: @Erin Jeavons-Fellows

Proposer’s role: Social Mod and Ex-Board Member of Kiez Burn e.V., camp Lead, Burn Night org, blah...


Hello! I am a social moderator and have had challenges with understanding the approval or denial process with regards to the Facebook group. I created some guidelines and I am sharing them here in hope to get feedback and build this out a bit. I created these guidelines myself, I have had no initial feedback thus far. I thought I would throw it out there and see how the community wishes to interact. These written guidelines are somewhat how I have personally moderated the page over the last 2 years.

These guidelines are also an experiment. They could fail.

Here is my proposal:

link on fb thread:


Erin Jeavons-Fellows Mon 30 Nov 2020 11:40AM

After writing these guidelines, I would have some questions about some existing posts since they probably wouldn't be approved but have had positive impact / high engagement on the community and I personally like them.
Here are the examples. Please let me know your opinions about how you feel these posts would fall into these guidelines.


Deine Mudda is a kiez at Kiez Burn and is recommending an arts and culture exhibition they went to. A post like this would probably come under the monthly non-commercial and commercial post. However, we are an arts and culture community and we wish to support this. Where would we draw the line here?


We do get alot of DJs in our community wanting to share their sets. Maybe we can think of another way to support them?

My wish is to not create hard rules, more guidelines or feel like the community is restricted. How can we create a balance?

I guess my question would be, are you happy with the content and current moderation? Do we even need to do anything at all? How do you personally feel there could be improvement?


Bee Mon 30 Nov 2020 4:23PM

Heya! Wow thanks so much for these well thought out guidelines! Also for your work over the last years keeping the FB group in order ;)

These examples are good at highlighting the nuance of making these decisions.

#1 - probably the least relevant/useful of the posts, without much relevance for the event or community aside from being interesting for a minute (radical immediacy lol)

#2 - Seems like something our community might enjoy or make use of. I agree with keeping but perhaps in self/events promo thread.

#3 - Valid point about our status as arts and culture community, however I see it as a commercial post.

#4 - DJ posts - if it's not too much to handle maybe there is a self-promo thread for musically skilled people to share their links?

I like the idea that artists and musicians are able to share their work with us (as they assumedly would be at an IRL Burn) but understand the need to keep the FB page looking free of a lot of spam. Having dedicated threads for these things would be a nice way to attempt inclusivity whilst keeping some boundaries. 🙂


walto Tue 1 Dec 2020 1:44AM

Thanks for opening the discussion, and offering a platform for continuous discussion & improvement.

  • I believe stronger moderation is needed when there is an overload of activity, particularly before or after a big event.

  • During the downtime, I see the moderation needing to be less strict, so to keep the engagement going. Particularly during these difficult (corona) times, I believe it good to have more connecting posts.

I see the Kiez Burn group as a forum for the Kiez Burn community or group of people, to exchange activities, emotions,... that might be loosely related to Kiez Burn and it's people.

I also liked Daisy's post.

I also feel DJ sets can have value, particularly in downtime time.

I do not see it as problematic that events/activities/actions use money - it is part of reality.

regarding the examples:

  • before/after the event, we should not allow #1, but I see #2/3/4 as stimulating for the community and valuable to share. I tend to think the group gains relevance through engagement with these posts & activities.

  • wondering what the value is of curtailing these posts? Do you think people leave the group because of posts like that? Anybody is more of a FB expert? I do not have so much professional experience in the area...

PS: made a small comment in the google doc.


Veroca R. Sala Wed 2 Dec 2020 8:56AM

Hey, thanks for doing this. I'm not really into social media but I see the problem and it can be hard to be in the position of a moderator in these cases Erin describes above.

I quote waldo here:

before/after the event, we should not allow #1, but I see #2/3/4 as stimulating for the community and valuable to share. I tend to think the group gains relevance through engagement with these posts & activities.

  • In this case, it's worth drawing a clearer line on what really means "before and after the event" so as to make it easier for moderators when having a date of starting the pre-event period and finalization of the post-event period.

  • Also, it can be tricky and confusing for users if some posts are banned in March and not in November. it can be taken "personally" unless making public these new rules, which would potentially create more of these posts than we wish to have even during the downtime (?)

  • I think it would be indeed fairer no to allow money-related posts, even though it's part of reality, but also what makes the difference amongst other Facebook groups. By doing so, we would be putting the no commerce principle above community and inclusion. Is that what we want? i think it's not, and that is why we are here discussing this, no? I consider Erin has been doing a great job moderating, but I feel her need to open a discussion.

  • I personally believe that some posts are just interesting and keep the group alive.

  • If there were a window to allow posts of the kind on certain threads we would be keeping a nice balance within the principles, where we help each other by allowing posts that share info about interesting events or community initiatives, music etc, but contained in a thread.

    Also speaking from my documentation lead heart, suggesting to eventually file the drive doc of this proposal into the Kiez Burn Organization drive, in the folder i have just created


Alex Kaos Thu 3 Dec 2020 5:17PM

Excellent Work @Erin Jeavons-Fellows , on both the moderation and the proposal. Very detailed and thoughtful, and definitely a challenging topic. Here are some thoughts, perhaps they can help;

  • I think Waldo has a good point about the 'event time' and 'downtime'.
    - In my mind, pre-event is 4 months, apres-event is 1 month.
    - There is also the month leading up to the general assembly, and the month before both Burn Nights

    That would mean, for simplicities sake, we would need 8 months of the year for full moderation. In which case I say all of your guidelines are totally valid and should be applied. This puts the primary focus of our events, and the Arts and Culture within them, as the purpose of the forum.

  • Outside of this time, in which we don't need the page to be clean for important announcements, We can afford to me more flexible.

    - The movement of money is inevitable outside of the bubble of the event itself. Even directly before and after the event, there is thousands of euros changing hands in different directions, by the event, and everyone around it (trust me, I'm the one who moves it). I consider it too idealistic to uphold the de-commercialization principle in a time when it is not relevant. If it doesn't cause harm (within this specific 4 month bubble), I don't see a need to regulate it. As Vero said, we just need to have that clarification near the top of wherever someone reads the guidelines, to make it clear.

    - Some people liked Daisy's post, some people didn't. Some people were glad for the recommendation to check out the Labarynth (example 2), some people got frustrated. Some people would have been angry that someone was selling their massage skills on our precious facebook page, someone else might have been grateful for the opportunity to pay someone in the community they love for a service they want.
    I personally am interested in the cool projects of other Burners, and if I can afford ot help or take part, I am interested to do so. I am, personally, and at this stage, also willing to endure some noise of posts I don't like in order to allow others to share and find things that are relevant to them (i.e. massages, DJ sets etc)
    There will always be a disgruntled person(s), no matter the situation or decision. And their 'Shadow', will be the person grateful for the information shared. And they are normally much more silent.

    - So, with the exception of No Commerce, so long as a post is in line with our other 10 principles, within these 4 months, I think our excellent and wonderful moderators should be having a break and not worrying about how the community will respond to certain posts.

    - If it is actually a problem that some people are complaining about specific posts, then we should just go full force with these guidelines all year round. Or be more specific and say "Any post that results in the movement of money will not be accepted".

    So my thought is, how bad are the complaints about certain posts? Is it specifically offending or hurting anyone? SIs the posts breach anyone's consent? Or is it more superficial than that? If it's the latter, then I would simply wait for things to become problematic, before bending to the swaying wills of some individuals of a large group.

Wow, that was only meant to be 4 bullet points. My apologies for taking your time in reading this, and my gratitude that you have. Love the guidelines. If having some written rules is better and easier for you than not, then I say implement them and share the link with any person whos post needs to be taken down.

Rock on Team.

I added a part in the Doc about other burn events for proposal. Let me know what you think:

Can I make a call out to see if anyone else is going to that other Burn event?

Other burn events (i.e. Nowhere, Borderlands, ZBB etc) can have a single active post (see above), in which a broader discussion can occur in the comments. This should suffice for finding ride-shares, finding co-creators for projects and camps etc. For larger discussions, participants should be self-reliant and make their own Facebook Page, which can be linked in the original event-post on the Kiez Burn Page)


Saskia Fri 4 Dec 2020 10:42AM

Hello there,

thank you very much for your effort. Really appreciated. You all gave great input.

I will not interact with a lot of your statements and just vomit out my opinion. based on practicality and my personal POV as part of the Modmin team.

On money and commercialisation (Thoughts, general)

  • I agree that money is an inevitable part of life

  • I do not wish for the Kiez Burn group to be an advertisement board. Burners are usually people with a decent average income and hence they are a viable target group. I do not wish for people who are just in for the event to be targeted like that. I see self-promotion as the biggest culprit here (promotion of your own business, Kickstarter, etc.).

  • Bias admitting: I get really upset when I see the group used to sell new age BS. I recognize: that is just my personal schlick. I have a bias towards being 'pro culture' and 'contra hippie-stuff' and jump to the disapprove button more quickly, which is not fair of me so I prefer a clear guideline. Same goes for friends. Daisys post I like so I did not have anything against it...

The compromise I would realize if I was queen of this castle and got to tell others what to do:

a) Having 2 advertisement posts.

  • One being 'everything where money is going to exchange hands' (events, services, buying options, kickstarters,...)

  • one being 'your artsy fun and gifting or sharing things - no €€€' (DJ Set. Creeps offering massages. Group meditation sessions. Tarot reading. I don't care. Your new workshop or coaching concepts you wish to have some guinea pigs for. The thesis you write about burn culture and need subjects for)

  • In these People can self-promote or promote things they like.

  • Modmin can point to these posts + burner business group when rejecting a post

b) As a rule not allowing any kind of money related posts (incl. asking for recommendations to buy XYZ in Berlin because you're visiting)

c) As an experimental exception: In pre-event phases (4 months before the event): Allow posts that are somewhat money related, ASKING (not selling!) but also event-and (free)camp related. This applies especially when asking for recommendations or moneypooling (i.e. "All camps need cables, here's a post because we wish to bulk buy cable extensions). ->. But we also point them to the camp organizer group, to the burner business group. People are allowed to self-promote under such questions from the community but pro-active advertisement (i.e. making a post of the great stuff you sell) of own services still belongs in the fixed advertising post.
This would be a test run, up for evaluation and critique.

The idea behind this is to allow for communication about things that cost money, especially around the event - but to avoid making the group an interesting target for marketing purposes, because it is just one of the 599 groups the person is posting their set / their event / their new biodegradable glitter.
If people can ASK for money related things in posts but not OFFER I think it would work around the issue a little bit and it is an easy distinction to make for Modmins.

ON process and communication

In my humble opinion, the rules are less important compared to the 'how do we communicate them'. People do not read community guidelines and I echo Veros personal concern about people being unneccessarily pissed and taking things personally.
Whereas I understand the POV that 'people will be dissatisfied' anyway (which is kinda transported by Alex), I strongly belief that internal logic and good communication and consistency is key to highten acceptance of regulations like this.

So I'd say it is important that we explain WHY we do not allow certain things (i.e. we do not wish to become an advetisement channel). At least have some document or talk thread to point to, which explains. But that's a lot of labor. So here's where consistency comes in, because Modminds don't need to do all the work, usually the community regulates itself when it knows how and why.

One example (how to explain that certain posts are allowed pre event and not post event):
In one group I saw moderators making an copy-paste statement under such posts explaining what is going on. This had a double effect on me once where I was thankful to learn how the rules are, to know why it was an exception and to be given the ressources for other times. The same copy paste message can also be used to explain to people why we reject their post.
It could read something like:
"Moderator notice: This post got approved because it is related to the direct organization of Kiez Burn Event. Please note that posts of these kinds are against our community guidelines when not pre-event. Please refer to burner business group, the monthly 'money' post or the talk group'

I want to suggest to create a couple of these copy paste templates to be used by Modmins. If there's interest, lmk in your reply here and I will start setting some off for co-creation and better wording. This would of course happen once we're fine with the guidelines.


Erin Jeavons-Fellows Sun 6 Dec 2020 10:58AM

@Franzi you can view the thread here


Alina, also known as Universe Tue 15 Dec 2020 4:16PM

Hi @Erin Jeavons-Fellows , thank you so much for putting your energy into this tricky question - how to do the group moderation.

I would love to ask a question about the 'why' of the FB page. At the moment, I see two things in one:

  1. A desire for this to be a communication channel for KiezBurn orga crews

  2. A desire to make this a community comms/exchange/connection hub

I am wondering if these two can really co-exist? Perhaps this is why the questions arise?

Your questions are something I had to internally work on and with. Until recently, I was a (sole) moderator of a yoga teacher community group. I started the group with 5 yoga teacher friends; in the end we were more than 400 people.

I ran the group for the community. The desire was to make it into a group "for the community run by the community".

Those asking to join were greeted with what I think were pretty good questions, that I gradually polished over years. This, with a hindsight, worked very well, as while the questions became better, there were less and less marketing trolls among the new joiners.

There was no approval on posts - I felt that on a community-oriented platform, people need to feel a sense of ownership and freedom to experiment with the content, without censorship or post approval. (There were some guiding principles and the 'why' of the group to guide people in their choices of content). I still believe this was beneficial and did make the group more of a community hub than posting board.

I feel strongly that this was a beneficial decision (to not have post approval).

On commercial trolls...... :)

For a long time I sanctioned people who would post commercial posts or use the platform to self promote (oh yes, also yoga teachers! :) ). I would approach them in a PM first, re-explaining the group rules, explaining the why of no commerce rule and pointing them to the group description. I tried different variations on this. People would still post their promo stuff. I developed a two-strike policy, where after two strikes and two direct PMs I would simply remove them from the group. That worked, of course, but I doubt the learning.

Then, I changed the strategy. I would simply comment on the post, reminding the person about the community and no commerce etc., asking them to reconsider their post. (a bit like what Alex @The Lord of Fire (Schatzmeister) gave in his example. To save time, I would have some text prepared to copy and paste, too, yes). I have noticed that this worked much, much better.

Another great development with this approach was that community members, not moderators, would start reacting - they would comment themselves, reminding about the no-commerce - so I could basically step back almost completely.

In short, I feel that the FB group would benefit from radical self reliance and self-management approach - so that it too, behaves the way we want the Kiez- Burn to happen.

This would take some moderator time in the beginning (setting up member joining questions, posting comments or raising questions about a specific post) but, over time, the group would start managing itself. And this is what I feel I would want for the group, so that it reflects the KB culture.

Thank you for asking the questions, Erin!



walto Tue 1 Dec 2020 6:49PM

love your recent moderation initiative to give a forum for sharing all sorts!


Erin Jeavons-Fellows Tue 1 Dec 2020 12:31PM

Hi @waldo. thanks for reading! I love the definition you wrote here: "I see the Kiez Burn group as a forum for the Kiez Burn community or group of people, to exchange activities, emotions,... that might be loosely related to Kiez Burn and it's people."

I also liked daisy's post. However others didn't. Thus a discussion has been raised about commercial or monetary posts in a group where our we have principles that oppose this and some have asked for the post to be removed. Do our principles apply in our online community space? There was a post about someone asking about $600 speakers and selling of other things but no one commented on this. Why daisy's post but not this?

As a moderator, I also feel myself being bias toward Daisy, knowing her personally and her commitment to Kiez Burn. If someone I didn't know posted this, would I have approved it? Probably not. and therefore as a moderator, I see myself not creating equality among KB members. I don't feel comfortable with this. As a mod, I'd like some rough guidelines, so I can comfortably know what to approve. Currently when i don't know if i should approve it, I leave it for the other mods to decide. Sometimes we all do this and don't talk about it and it results in a post being left there for a week.

I also agree with you about heavier moderation when there is prep for an event and lighter when we are not in prep mode. I see these guidelines as something that would enable a lack of moderation, and people can refer to this and know what the community wishes for.

I guess the question is, do we have this fb group just as a basic message board and thus, all kinds including commercial posts can be posted? Ie, someone posted about his massage business this morning. I rejected it and directed him toward burning business as we don't want advertisements filling the board.

It seems people are somewhat happy with the moderation as it is. Its not my intention to radically change it. My experience of it as a mod, is that it's sloppy. I'm finding I'm approving posts and rejecting others based on my opinion of whether its suitable to KB and in some cases that comes out as bias or unfair and inconsistent.

This downtime is important to consider and I guess having a a dedicated post for us to promote ourselves in the default world may actually create more engagement and activity on the page. I hope it would anyway!

I was aware that the document i created could seem like alot of curtailing. However, I created them based of my current understanding of what I was doing already and created some guidelines that would help with the bias I have noticed within myself.

The community already does a pretty good job at moderating themselves. Most posts do get approved. I hope with these guidelines, its just a little more clear.