Managing a +21K members Mauritian Facebook wall, is just an awesome experience.
I won’t hide my pride of being associated to Jameel Peerally’s WANTED : 15,000 Youngsters to Save OUR Future! (called hereafter WANTED) commendable, timely, populist Facebook initiative. But I guess it is about time I shed some light on what the Facebook Administrator’s/ Moderator’s job is about.
One should never forget that there is nothing near gearing an enormous virtual group made up of 21,200 more or less well-wishers as compared to a usual common Facebook group/ page or even other private thematic fora. The task must be taken as a global challenge, like managing a town, a village… a community.
Our Facebook population reaching the 380k mark, doesn’t mean that we, Mauritians, are good Social Networkers. We actually lag in our use of Twitter, Flicker, Google Plus, LinkedIn and other plaforms that can really bring better and tighter relationships, either on personal or professional grounds. We are still on the learning curve, including me, even if I have been doing Social Networking as my regular breadmaker for the last five years.
BUT WHY ONLY TODAY?
Recent articles, both online and off press, tagged WANTED’s initiator and admins as dictator-like threats to democracy and freedom of speech. Coming from news professionals, this matters more to us than having a very small fringe of the 21K members cracking down our decisions to delete posts and ban suspect profiles. This mindset coming from local newscasters can be understood especially when the pros and cons of virtual networking are still foggy to most but to this, there is an indisputable truth!
FULLY FREE DEMOCRATIC OR FRAMED SPACE?
Many of our fellow countrymen still have the impression that Cyberspace is a no-man’s land or a no-law zone and this is a total mistake.
So many of us still think that Facebook pages and group walls are, de facto, publicly owned, that these virtual spaces are not subject to internal rules and regulations and that these are places where deregulated democracy can live. An Internet page is legally owned by its creator who is deemed to make good and legal use of it. Likewise, a Facebook page or group in a country is bound to abide by the laws of the land. Even in Hyde Park, some basic rules are to be respected. We should all recall UK Riots, where Facebook, Twitter and RIM were partly held responsible thereof. Like anywhere else where rules exist, enforcement is a prime issue, even if a Facebook group page might look like a place of free speech. Democracy stops where speech derails. Dealing with all this is called Community Management and this is what we need to understand.
Part 2 at 20:00, Thu 06 Oct 2011…