“I hope people can express themselves. I hope they can share their ideas, share their thoughts. But we’re not a platform for free speech. We are not upholding the First Amendment. That’s the government’s job. We’re a community. And communities have standards for how you have to behave inside that community. And so we think that it’s not anything goes.”— Twitch CEO Emmett Shear on how moderation creates communities (The Verge)
Like Emmet Shear, the CEO of Twitch, I’m a firm supporter of community moderation. As community leaders, we’re responsible in setting expectations early on with clear guidelines. That includes a Code of Conduct for behaviour; a Governance policy for how decisions get made as a team; and defined escalation paths for dealing with problematic members.
I’ve gotten some heat in the past for having this position, accusations of censorship and impeding free speech (or freedom of expression, here in Canada). But those are enshrined in our rights as citizens; not in our rights as members of a community group.
That said, I also believe that community guidelines should be ever-evolving. New incidents may pop up that you hadn’t expected. It’s happened to me more than a few times. So, if they’re not covered in your guidelines, update the guidelines to address those issues in the future.