“This post is bad. Why haven’t you removed it yet?” When you have a member who asks you something along those lines, this is the article you can point them to.

If you post something on an online community and it does not appear right away, because a moderator must first approve it, that is called pre-moderation. However, if the community has moderators and what you post appears right away without needing approval, the community employs post-moderation.

Most online communities rely on post-moderation. An abysmally small number of communities rely solely on pre-moderation and, when they do, it is usually for a very specific reason – the need to control the incoming content to an extreme level. Some communities practice a little bit of pre-moderation (like only applying it to new members, until they prove themselves), but most of their content is subject to post-moderation.

Why? Because, for the most part, people prefer it. Would you rather have your post online now or would you like to wait until it is approved? In using the community, most people want to see their posts go up right away, if at all possible. If that doesn’t happen, many people will leave a community because they simply don’t want to wait.

Post-moderation is a privilege.

Now, if we agree that post-moderation is preferable, we must also understand that there is a cost: People, not just you, but others, can all post and have their content display immediately. Not just the good stuff, but the bad stuff. While there are some measures you can put in place to limit the bad stuff, in general, you can only make a dent in a much larger pile. You have to accept that there will be bad stuff posted and you will see some of it.

That’s the cost of post-moderation. Patience and understanding. You are afforded with the privilege and maybe you act responsibly, but not everyone will. So, when you see a post with bad content, that is what you are seeing.

Most likely, the administrator(s) and/or moderators of the community you visit are doing their best to see as much of the content as they can, but you can help them by reporting posts that you see because if you have the energy to suggest they are taking too long to remove bad content, you also have the energy to report that bad content to them. In doing so, you’ll be helping them to maintain the community that you enjoy.

Thank you for reading.