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Haddenham.net on Facebook?

by Haddenham Webteam – 17th May 2018
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The Haddenham.net Facebook page is a social media extension of this website, primarily designed to offer its users snippets of news and event information that is more comprehensively presented here, on the main community website.

Its key advantages are:

1. the speed with which information can be communicated – new posts are notified immediately via email to those 'joined' to the FB page who elect to receive such notifications.

2. FB provides a platform for comments to be posted and views exchanged in a highly efficient manner

At its best, a local community FB page is an incredibly powerful communication platform – for example, to help find lost pets speedily, notify residents of traffic problems as they occur and provide reminders of important local events.

The interactive element of FB is not without its challenges – social media can sometimes turn into "anti-social media" when discussions become a little heated or when individuals are criticised or even abused online.

There are three moderators of the Haddenham.net FB page. One is Keith Milmer, the editor of the website; the other two offer additional admin support via his FB account in order to remain anonymous – they choose this option to avoid receiving some of the criticism that has been aimed at the editor on social media from time to time.

Some Facts

  • At the time of writing, the Haddenham.net FB page has approximately 1,850 'joined' users
  • The vast majority of these folk are residents of Haddenham or its very close neighbouring villages
  • Throughout the entire existence of the HdN FB page the moderators have deleted less than 40 posts from among the several thousand posted
  • Among the 1,850 joined users, less than 10 individuals have ever been blocked from using the platform – that's less that half of 1 percent.

Why has anyone been blocked from contributing posts?

On very rare occasions, some posts are deemed by the moderators to be a little too heated, defamatory or aggressive in tone. This is always a judgement call, referenced against the posting guidelines – but that is the reason for having moderators.

Under such circumstances, a private message is sent to the individual concerned to explain the difficulty and requesting that they moderate their tone or refrain from posting on a topic that has simply become too heated for meaningful and mutually respectful debate.

Not everyone will agree with where the line should be drawn – the moderators role can be a thankless one.

On rare occasions some individuals have refused to accept the moderators' request, and this can lead to endless back-and-forth messaging – so the only practical option left open to moderators has been to block the individuals from posting to the page.

Just to re-emphasise – this has happened on less than 10 specific occasions in total, ever.

What future for the HdN Facebook page?

Recently, one or two of the individuals who felt most in disagreement with our moderators' decisions were instrumental in helping to set up an alternative local FB platform – and why not, it's a readily available technology.

On that alternative platform some individuals have chosen to voice their personal criticisms of the editor of Haddenham.net in his role as one of the HdN FB moderators.

As a direct consequence, the future of the HdN FB page is now under consideration by its three moderators.

Option One is to maintain it in its present form, despite the criticisms from a small but significant minority

Option Two is to revert back to its original format in which information was posted as an edited-down summary of the website content, but with no facility for comments & feedback by readers

Option Three is to close the HdN FB page down altogether, and allow any number of alternative community platforms to perform whatever role their moderators choose.

How will this be decided?

The HdN moderators will be meeting before the end of May to discuss a preferred option, but it is likely that a simple survey will be offered to the current HdN FB users to help inform any final decisions.

Keith Milmer
17 May 2018

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