24/7 Moderator Coverage

The Google community was recently flooded with accusations of racism in search results.

Checking in on a Monday morning a few weeks ago, no-one seems to have been around over the weekend.

Once a perception forms, it’s hard to shift. Past a few hundred thousand members you need 24/7 moderator coverage to respond to issues like this.

The costs are relatively low and the risks are worryingly high.

What happens if on 5.01pm on Friday afternoon someone posts a suicide threat and no-one from the company reads it until 9.00am on Monday?

It’s a possible tragedy and a headline of “Company {x} did nothing for 4 days after member posts suicide threat”.

Now consider illegal/illicit activities, death threats, security bug reports and the whole gamut of worst-case scenarios. Hoping the community manager checks in on their days off isn’t a solution.

You don’t need someone there every second, but at least have someone checking in once or twice a day. Hire an intern for the weekend, use virtual assistants, hire paid moderators, or a professional moderation company. It doesn’t cost much and can avoid a catastrophe.


  1. Bas van Leeuwen says:

    One thing to add: always have a way for members to escalate things that are urgent. This can be platform-flags, a public email address (which is read during the weekend), or make sure enough members know you personally so they can reach out using other channels (skype, mail, phone, whatsapp, bullhorn, whatever).

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