Recently, a new member posted a request on one of my forums that violated our guidelines. Suffice to say, the request was inappropriate.

It was available for viewing for a few days. As soon as I saw it, I removed it and handled it appropriately.

A veteran member of the community had replied to the thread, remarking in disgust at the request. I went ahead and sent that member a private message to let them know that the thread had been removed and, more importantly, to encourage them to report posts of that nature to me, should they occur in the future.

Their response was one of surprise. They were surprised that I “let it go as long as it has.” Let’s review:

  1. This is a veteran member of our community.
  2. This is a member that I have personally encouraged (multiple times) to report any posts that he feels might be suspect, in any way.
  3. He does not report this post, despite being well aware of my desire to receive reports.
  4. He responds to the post, bumping it up for more members to see.
  5. I remove it as soon as I see it and ask him to report posts like it in the future.
  6. He’s “surprised” that I took so long to deal with it, when if he had reported it when he replied to it, it would have been gone shortly after the report was received.

Don’t you just love that? Something isn’t right here.

I find that these moments require a direct approach. Here is what I sent to the member:

Hello <name>,

Thank you for your message.

In the message I sent you, I told you that the post you responded to was a violation of our guidelines and, in the future, if you see a post like that, to please report it to me directly.

While we can’t know for sure what the posters intention is, that sort of request is inappropriate here. If you see it again, rather than responding, drawing more attention to it and sending more people to it, please report it to me, so that it can be handled as quickly as possible.

If you had reported it to me directly, rather than responding, I would have seen it sooner – and removed it sooner.

I removed it as soon as I saw it, but because you did not report it, when I saw it was when I had the opportunity to read the thread. I am not able to read all of the posts made here and, if a member sees a violation of our guidelines, it is important that they report it and be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

Thank you for your time and cooperation.



His response was that he understood and would try to do that in the future, which is good. But, in other cases, some members just don’t get it. All that you can do is to remove inappropriate content, continue to educate your members and encourage them to file reports whenever they see something suspicious.