Who Is a Community Moderator and How to Become One

UPDATED May 4, 2023
Written By Milliscent Lucio

Just as a community in the outside world is a gathering of people living in the same place, the same can be said with a community located online. But instead of a physical place, the people in that community are then tied together by a particular platform or a common interest.

With more or less half the world’s population using the internet, it’s a given that certain pockets will be formed. People will naturally navigate to familiar places or other people who share similarities.

Most commonly, the people within these communities discuss and create content about their interests. Popular ones even schedule meetups, usually done at conventions like Anime Expo for anime and manga lovers, Pax for gamers, and DragCon for drag queens and drag enthusiasts.

It’s a given that among the members of these communities are people who love to cause trouble. And even if that’s not the case, there are times when posts are out-of-topic or a conflict arises. For this reason, websites or the person-in-charge of a community employ people who will enforce the community moderation guidelines. These people are called community moderators.

Who is a community moderator?

The simplest community moderator definition, is a person who oversees and monitors conversations in a community or a group. They make or enforce rules for the community to make it a safe place where people can have meaningful interactions.

They look over the posts that members post to see if there is anything that might be against the rules, like content that isn't appropriate or outright irrelevant.

Besides content, they are also in charge of approving new members and banning unruly ones. The moderators are the first point of contact, giving a brief rundown of the rules and welcoming the user to the group.

How to become a community moderator?

The simplest community moderator definition, is a person who oversees and monitors conversations in a community or a group. They make or enforce rules for the community to make it a safe place where people can have meaningful interactions.

They look over the posts that members post to see if there is anything that might be against the rules, like content that isn't appropriate or outright irrelevant.

Besides content, they are also in charge of approving new members and banning unruly ones. The moderators are the first point of contact, giving a brief rundown of the rules and welcoming the user to the group.

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How to become a community moderator?

The best and simplest way to start is by volunteering. Some platforms allow users to apply as moderators for their many communities. The volume of varying social dynamics and posts is simply too much for a company’s native moderators.

As to how to become a Twitter moderator, Reddit moderator, Twitch moderator, and other similar platforms, be on the lookout for community moderator application posts, especially in very active or populated areas. You can gain experience from managing these groups before starting your professional career.

Once you get the required amount of experience in moderating content, you can either apply as a part-time or full-time job as a moderator. In some cases, the websites you volunteer on may even hire you. A study by ZipRecruiter in October found that the average pay for a content moderator is $41,070 per year.

If you’re interested in this job role, here are some tips to help you on your journey.

Community Moderation Tips

Immerse yourself

How can you be an effective community manager if you are not familiar with the niche or even the group’s basic norms?

The best thing to do is to learn about the website's culture and then the way people interact in the community. Certain groups tend to favor different flavors of communication, humor, and overall style.

Effective Communication

In social communities, contradictions and arguments normally arise. When a member doesn't agree with the opinions or standpoints of other members, the moderators should be able to calm the situation down and talk to both sides. If you want to be an effective content moderator, you should be able to maintain your composure amidst the tension, remain calm, and handle the situation in a professional manner.

Strike a Balance in the Degree of Moderation

While content moderation is important, overdoing it might also bring the strike of a grim reaper’s scythe through the community. The same can be said for being too accommodating.

These spaces are for people to communicate or express themselves. Members can't be creative if they're afraid of wasting their time or getting kicked out of the group. A very loose hold, meanwhile, can spiral the place into a rabbit hole of toxicity if left as is.

Be Consistent and Impartial

There are rules and guidelines for a reason. Besides certain exceptions, randomly deviating from these can cause confusion between the members. Favoring some users may cause the members to turn on each other or on the moderator themselves, the latter leading to being kicked out of the managing team.

Be active

Being a moderator is not just all about flagging posts and users; you are also part of the group. You can interact with posts and even initiate some events to increase the members’ participation.

Conclusion

An online community is one way for people to connect with others despite distance and other physical limitations. You can befriend people from all over the world, break social barriers, and even develop a deeper sense of empathy.

As a moderator, it’s your responsibility to maintain that sense of fun and camaraderie. The way moderators do their jobs will also affect the community as a whole, either making people want to join or turning them away.

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