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Creative Commons License photo credit: soukup

Why moderate? Why do we moderate? If you ask a collection of people who run online communities, you’ll likely come up with dozens of different, or different sounding reasons. But, they’ll likely all come back to one thing.

That thing is focus. When you really break it down, that is why we moderate. Because we’re focusing on a specific niche, a specific environment. Moderation is the act of creating focus.

If you remove vulgarities and profane language, you are focusing more on a work and family friendly environment. If you remove inflammatory and disrespectful comments, you are focusing on a more respectful community. If you don’t allow political or religious discussion, you are focusing on whatever the main topic of your community is.

Moderation is a way of taking a space that is undefined and giving it definition. This can happen without moderation, but it rarely can be maintained without it.