I'm a member of quite a few different communities, and I've a fair bit of experience managing and moderating large communities online.
This morning one of the admins of a group I'm in was a bit too "telly offy" for something a member had written which was clearly not meant any harm. They basically said "I had plenty of sunshine, if you can't get sunshine, then overdose on vitamin D!" The admin told them off for suggesting people overdose on Vitamin D. I pointed out that it was a turn of phrase, not meant literally. There were a few replies backwards and forwards and then she said if I didn't like it I'd go elsewhere. So I said I felt bullied by her which was unfair, and that I was upset by her comments. She then told me I was over-reacting, so I pointed out that blaming another person for being upset in response to your own behaviour and communication was horrible.
She then banned me from the group- apparently so that I couldn't do this to anyone else!
The "do this" as far as I can see is stand up for someone else being unreasonably "told off" and for telling an admin I found their communication upsetting.
I deliberately pushed this issue with her because I don't think it's appropriate for admins of groups to bully and intimidate people for trying to be helpful, or for providing feedback which can help the health of the group.
If you run a group, please don't do this to members. Not everyone will agree with everything you say or do as an admin, that doesn't mean they aren't valuable members of the group. As I was in this situation- I contributed positively to that community daily, and today when I dared to give feedback to an admin I was blocked from a community which was a valuable resource to me, and I to it.
Members of the group have been in touch with me and have asked the admin to reconsider, which they wouldn't. I do hope though that this will highlight to others how inappropriately the admin responded in this situation.
If you don't know how to handle conflict, or people disagreeing with you without kicking them out of the group, then you probably don't have the skills required to be a good admin.
Of course, one has to bear in mind giving feedback is not the same as someone being abusive. But saying that they're upset and asking an admin to consider the way they communicate with members of the group may have an impact on members isn't being unreasonable!
After I wrote this, it reminded me of a blog post I wrote about this type of behaviour, it still stands:http://bit.ly/CommunityMarketing #Community #marketing #moderation