Who Owns a Facebook Group Or Forum?
As more and more online engagement occurs and even the “older folk” are joining Facebook in the droves; the current highest growth in the social media giant is from the 55+ age groups; we find more and more engagement occurring. Which, after all, is the whole point of these portals. Lets be honest, engagement sure beats the old “I had a lovely dinner” Post.
I’ll start by Facebook groups, and I am not mentioning business who disguise the group as a marketing angle for their business because they can add as many people as they want (that’s a whole different discussion), I’m talking about legitimate groups, setup by people generally targeting a community, sporting or hobby and followed by like minded people. I myself have setup a bunch of the Facebook Groups and continue to admin them. BUT, I do not ever “censure” or delete any content. It’s not my place to. Nor is it any admins place. Facebook owns the space, not the admin.
I hear the complaints of the odd troll on these groups, well the same goes for business pages from time to time, and most of you know my view of deleting Business Page posts (in short, never!), but deleting posts in a group is just rude. The admin does not reserve the right to play internet police, that’s Facebooks’ job. The Facebook group by very nature is an OPEN forum for people to discuss and engage in whatever they choose. OK, now I can hear some admins of these groups getting riled, well guys, if the group is not the place for their content they will soon leave as it their activity will achieve nothing. So if someone in a community group wants to try to sell an old bookcase, well that’s what its there for. It may not have been your intention at the start, but that called progress. If you, as an admin, wants to control the space then pay for it, or own it; Facebook is not that space, you are not paying a dime, not have any control. Its Facebooks’.
If you want a controlled environment, free of people advertising their old bookcases and cars then start a forum on your website. Easy, you can then control it as much as you like, after all, its yours. You manage the site, setup the terms and conditions of people engaging on it, and pay for it to be there. So its your right to do whatever you like with that online space. Afterall, its your site, and users can decide if they want to be part of it or not. Simple.
But just to re-interate, Facebook space is not owned by the user, neither is the content, so in short, don’t censure Facebook posts, its meant to be Social Media, not Private Media. And yes, Some people abuse it to a large degree, but folks, that’s life. We have that in the offline world so why not the online world.
In a nutshell, if you don’t own it, you can’t control it.
And remember “sticks and stones”