#Cmgrchat – 9/21: Community Privacy

Privacy restrictions ultimately depend on the type of community and whether or not a community is a part of a regulated industry. In which case, higher privacy standards are mandatory. Although many community managers disagree on privacy policies and communities, most agree on matters of personal privacy and protecting their identities in social networks.

What are your thoughts on privacy?

Q1. How important is privacy in your community? Do you have disclaimers? policies? etc.
Historian You almost have to have a policy when you are dealing with any kind of personal data

annabelleblue Fairly important. Our legal team is extremely concerned w/privacy. It’s at the forefront of what we do in social

pushingvision Privacy w/in a cmty is like privacy among friends…you expect certain level of “discretion” based on relationship w/ them

saidbylaura  The more transparency around privacy that you can offer a user, the more willing they are to engage with a community.

Jen_Cook I wouldn’t join a website’s community if a privacy policy wasn’t in place

DavidSpinks I don’t know… IMO, the word “policy” and “community” don’t mix well. “Policy” sounds corporate, not very friendly.

mbhahn Most users dont know the difference between a sites terms of use or privacy policy. They are always filled with bloated jargon

colleen_young Clear privacy policy and funding disclosure imperative for health networking sites.

Q2: Should community members be able to post things anonymously on your site? Why or Why not?

evanhamilton I think anonymous posts are very dangerous. Low barrier to entry is great, anonymous is a recipe for badness.

AskTim  Yes, but the CM should have the right and ability to delete abusive, offensive or illegal postings.

Jmodio If you’re trying to have real community, it defeats the purpose w/ anonymity

abrosenthal  I think so, as long as you have someone to monitor the content. People can use fake identities anyway

meghan_krane  For our community at @Memolane you can comment anonymously, but we always ask for your email address so we can contact you

AdamBritten Forcing user registration kills most trolls

tmonhollon Completely depends on the site. Imagine you’re a drug recovery/support community, for example. Should be an option there

Q3. Should community sites be password-protected & closed to non-members? Why or why not?

JPedde many people will post something and not want employers to see, or friends, but in that case, I would say – Don’t Post.

muruganpandian I am against the idea of keeping it close. Make it public and entice new participants.

Historian Sometime the being unknown allows you to talk more openly about yourself and topics that might be embarrassing.

aajain  I think a closed community is better, as Twitter/FB are already public-facing. Closed allows for more dedicated engagement

JeffSullivan In our case we believe content should be login free — login to post in forums or contribute articles

DavidSpinks In many cases, it’s good to have both. An open community for all to join, and a private, protected community for power users

i_robin  as a community portal for an open source software project, we do not really have a choice. Community is for sharing knowledge

Q4. How do you, as a Community Manager, protect your own privacy?

Jen_Cook Just because you know me as your mod doesn’t mean I’m your “friend” or should be.

vargasl It is not about hiding, but being smart abt what you put out there; understand it is only a facet of who you are

KellyLux  I don’t ‘friend’ people on FB who aren’t my friends (in some sense). That’s my last refuge.

Ryan_Olsen  Being a CM is a 24/7 job not unlike being a public figure. You don’t have privacy

ericfoster Privacy is really a state of mind these days isn’t it?

sarahpriceless Tight privacy controls (Circles, lists), careful what I post, being OK with being a little public

cusecomm I use different names (I’m lucky I can do that) I have a professional name/account and personal name/account- Tv taught me that!

What makes sense for your community or you personally in terms of online privacy?

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About the author

Judi Huck

Mover. Shaker. Candlestick maker. Currently engaged as a community and social media strategist.