A facebook group about a game in beta stage.
The group itself is 1000 members big. The game itself is made by a single developer; I and a few others have moderation rights to accept people into the group. The group is invite only for reasons I don't know right now. Presumably to keep the beta at least "kind of" private before the release version of the game goes live. The developer is the admin of the group, and he's said the admin rights are just to accept people who want in the group; He doesn't expect there to be much to moderate. Additionally, I am not to remove any content without asking the original poster first (apparently he had a moderator like that before and it went sour, ... presumably due to a lack of transparency).
One of those users has been going a bit off-topic in various posts, posting meme-style pictures with various captions, often unrelated to the topic. They were pretty funny (I didn't comment on it, neither did others... well, maybe others posted a single reaction to it, but on a thread of 100 comments to a main topic, that's pretty insignificant).
Yesterday, said user was frustrated with the notifications he received from other people posting on topics he had commented on, and he began to post pictures of Rick Astley's videoclip "Never gonna give you up" (or whatever the song is called), captioned with "Never gonna give a fuck". Another user pointed out they could unsubscribe; this led to another picture. I forgot what the picture was, but it was similar in nature.
I removed these pictures and the relevant comments about 6-8 hours after they were posted, without notification. I did so because I felt they added nothing to the conversation and only served to offend other people. Furthermore, the specific format (images) makes me believe the user doesn't actually have a problem with the use of facebook and instead is just seeking for attention.
The next day, as I'm answering questions and commenting on posts, the guy starts again. He makes a joke how slightly arranging the letters in someone's name makes it suitable as a brothel name, then proceeds posting more pictures with impact-font text of them. One of them included a bestiality picture on a thread where someone asked how to store animals in the game. The text that went along with the post was "don't worry, this guy will take care of them". I have removed that image, along with other images ("what time is it? ur a faggot time", arm with wristwatch, second comment in the watch) and a repost of the rick astley image.
I then warned him. My exact wording:
These stupid picture responses are getting out of hand. I've removed a bunch of them, but if you're gonna post them, at least make them related to the discussed topic.
Looking back, that's not a very smart response. Oh well.
His reply were a message "make me", an image of Pingu with "maek me u cnt", and then a repost of the rick astley image on a separate topic.
My reaction was to remove the images and the user from the group. Clearly this user is actively disrupting the group.
I relayed this to the group with a reply to his message, stating:
And then he was gone. If someone felt I made a wrong decision here let me know, I'm not sure just removing him from the group was the right decision. For the record, two more pictures were posted after this, including rick astley with the caption "never gonna give a fuck" and a pingu photo with something along the lines of "mk me u cheeky cnt"
I then got a chat message from that user.
It's an image of Snow White, captioned with "You're a cunt", all caps.
I replied back "I know!", then reported him via facebook's reporting system and blocked him from chat. Apparently chat blocks are broken, because I got another image (rick astley again) and the message that
Already got the game bro, couldn't give a shit about the group lol. Turned out shit anyways.
(I have replaced the name of the game with "the game").
I'm not going to reply to his repeated actions, so I went to his user profile instead and blocked him there from contacting me. Then, I replied to the thread where I had posted my previous message, stating the following:
Of course, this didn't stop him from sending me more pictures over private chat (snowwhite, caption "you're a cunt"), so I had to report and block him there too. Bit of a shame.
And that's where we are now.
Other users are replying to my statements:
Well that was rude of him. I get that he only wanted to have some fun, but if he has to do it, he has to post it somewhere else. Conclusion: Had to be done.
I prefer you keep a strong hand moderating here, if that's any guidance
- What could I have done differently to prevent this situation from escalating?
- Was I within my rights to remove the images and the user, despite not having asked him to remove said images?
- Should I notify the admin and other moderators about this issue? (I have never talked to any of the other moderators in private before, this is the first time I've seen any event like this in the group, usually no moderation is needed as per the admin's words)
- Is there a way to guide these users back to being friendly again? (I know that in chat moderation, saying hello to a spammer can make them shut up and begin an actual conversation.)
- Am I being transparent enough to the group? I make the statement that offensive images have been posted, but I removed them. Nobody can see them anymore, and there has been a previous issue with moderators deleting things as they see fit...