I was reading Jeremiah Owyang’s blog post about the “Bozo” feature within community platforms, and it got me to thinking about how valuable that the feature can be, when used properly.

There are always cases where you tend to run through all of your options when managing members (gagging, locking out, banning, restriction, pre-moderating…..). These are many of the 1st steps or tools that are used initially to manage members accounts, and restrict their access to a community. The “Bozo” option, flag (or whatever you want to call it) is generally a last course of action the moderation team, or a Community manager can take. While decisions may never make it down to this level, it is an option that’s available.

Limiting the actions that you can take against a members account is not a great way to moderate/manage a community. I was always taught to leave all of my options open, and to never back myself in a corner. In general, the flag is used against members who have no interest in your community/members/brand/company/employees…..their only reason for existence is try to demolish and destroy, at all costs.

Also, by leveraging this flag, you can “buy yourself some time”. This allows a Moderation team or Community Manager the time to review the account, look at any registration information, and note it. In many cases this member (like banned members), will try to come back. If you are able to review the current account, you can often find any new account(s) that this member may register, within minutes, and “beat them to the punch”. Now granted, this is always a cat-and-mouse game, and can take a lot of time to accomplish, but if you are able to do your research and “buy yourself this time”, it will only help you in the long run.


Note: Cross-posted at mzinga.com