How to handle fights in almost any Facebook group

Have you been fighting over the purpose and content of a Facebook group? Get real!

How to handle fights in almost any Facebook group /img/get-real.jpg

(this is a synthesis of what I wrote in a Facebook group that was getting drowned in flame wars and calling out, because almost nobody of its several thousands members had clear what the VAST majority of Facebook groups are nothing but…)

Dear members of whatever Facebook group is being destroyed by flame wars and calling out..

Get real IN GENERAL:

This is ONLY one Facebook group, i.e. one micro-area in one of the LEAST proper, most polarizing, most ineffective environments on Earth for meaningful, balanced, deep discussions on anything, as well as for sophisticated management/moderation system. That stuff can only happen for real elsewhere. Here, attempting to achieve real moderation and participation is like driving blindfolded.

Get real in THIS specific group that afflicts you:

Even if Facebook were not the worst possible environment to get serious stuff done, it is very likely that this specific group you are obsessing about is not a public place.

It is very likely that THIS specific group is little more than one person’s personal newsletter, with comments enabled and only one person with time and will to post content. Because in a place as screwed as FB, and without a real staff, there is no way to do more.

There is surely the need for some bigger, more sophisticated ways to handle online discussions. But expecting that a Facebook group should or could ever become anything even vaguely sophisticated and collaboratively/professionally managed is, more often than not, an unreal waste of time and energy.

Get real, part 3:

If the group you are struggling about is, as it often happens, little more than one person’s personal newsletter, it is half fair, half unavoidable that that person only gets the first and last word on what is on topic and acceptable in that group.

For the same reason, if that single person with time to post can only afford e.g. 1 hour/week to moderate, that person will just remove posts, comments or people in that 1 hour, in the least worst way that is possible, without having to feel guilty. And nobody should cry scandal for that. If that person goes mad, he or she will remain without listeners very soon anyway, where is the problem?

Executive summary: if a Facebook group drives you mad…

Just leave it. If it is about something you really care about, create another group. Really. It is that easy.