Gatekeeping in Online Communities: Its Importance and Challenges
Gatekeeping is the bouncer at the door enforcing your online community rules, ensuring the crowd inside plays by the rules and vibes well together. It’s all about keeping the community safe, maintaining standards, and making sure everyone’s using their real info. Because let’s face it, nobody wants a troll named “xyz” wrecking the place.
Community managers have the tough job of supervising this whole scene. They’re the ones checking IDs and making sure you’re not sneaking in under a fake name. But here’s the kicker: doing this manually is like trying to keep a flood at bay with a bucket. It’s a never-ending task that can gobble up your whole day, and even then, some slip-ups can go unnoticed for a day or two.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a robust gatekeeping process. It’s not just about ticking boxes; it’s about asking the right questions and actually enforcing the rules. If you say “use your real name,” you’ve got to mean it. And if someone tries to pull a fast one with a bogus answer, they’ve got to go.
But the thing is, you’ve got to be on top of it. If you let it slide, even once, word gets out, and suddenly your community’s not so safe anymore. So, it’s all about balance—making sure the good folks get in and the not-so-good ones stay out. And that’s the challenge every community manager faces, keeping that gate just the right amount of closed.
Implementing Automation and AI Tools in Gatekeeping
Manual gatekeeping? Been there, done that. It’s like trying to keep track of ants at a picnic—inefficient and a bit frustrating. You could spend a whole month manually sifting through sign-ups, checking every day, and still, things slip through the cracks. That’s the old way, and it’s a time-eater.
AI’s not just a fancy buzzword—it’s the new sheriff in town for online communities. Think of it as the invisible hand that sifts through sign-ups, keeping out the bad eggs before they even crack. When someone tries joining with info that doesn’t cut it, AI’s on it, scoring their answers and shutting down rule-breakers with a swift ‘nope’.
And it’s not just about the sign-up sheet. AI’s reach goes further:
- It’s got an eye on the forums, scanning for anything that smells like trouble.
- Private chats? Yeah, it’s there too, making sure everyone’s playing nice.
- And when conversations take a risky turn, AI’s the mediator, enforcing guidelines so that things don’t go off the rails.
Community managers? They’re the conductors, orchestrating AI’s every move to ensure it acts just right. They set the stage, and AI performs, making sure that everyone’s sticking to the script—those community rules.
So when controversial topics pop up, AI’s already one step ahead. It’s designed to spot the signs and act before a spark turns into a wildfire. It’s about keeping the peace and making sure everyone sticks to the terms of service they signed up for.
With AI, community managers have their hands free to focus on what really matters—growing the community and sparking those meaningful conversations. It’s like having a silent partner who’s got your back 24/7, so you can rest easy knowing the community’s in good hands.
And for those who wanna know, at Scale By Tech we use HeartBeat.Chat <– That is an affiliate link. I know sneaky. But it really is a great community platform. It’s simple, powerful, and comes with an app. This means that you can be on “push notification” level with all the people in your community. Or at least with the ones that have the app and haven’t turned off notifications 😁