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Beware the Moderators from Hell

You have a forum, a Facebook Group, or some other type of social media platform that keeps you quite busy.

So what do you do?

You ask a number of your most devoted members or followers to serve as moderators on your behalf.

Perhaps one of them will even volunteer.

“Hello Nick, I'm constantly on this forum, and I know you're busy... “How about I serve as a moderator to assist you?”

That's incredible, isn't it?

You get free assistance from one of your biggest fans - someone who knows what you're talking about and wants to help you tell the world about yourself and your products.


Except that occasionally these helpful moderators are actually wolves in sheep's clothing, ready to take you down, get you banned and even put you into legal trouble.

Yes, I realize I seem like a crazy, paranoid doomsayer, but this is true. In reality, it costs businesses millions, if not billions, of dollars in lost revenue each year.

Consider Bob's* Facebook Group account.

Bob owns his own online marketing company, where he teaches people how to use social media to gain new consumers.

Bob is a social media marketing expert, and he is the last person you would expect to lose his business as a result of a social media marketing blunder.

But that is essentially what happened.

Bob sold his highly regarded $1997 social media marketing course to someone named Suzie. Suzie proved to be a thorn in Bob's side, bombarding him with questions many times a day and demanding far more attention than any of his other 300 students combined.

Suzie seemed to believe she was entitled to one-on-one instruction 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rather than watching the course and implementing what Bob taught.

In essence, there was no way to please her. Bob, frustrated, refunded her money and respectfully informed her that the training was not for her.

Suzie was enraged. She posted multiple messages on social media, telling anybody who would listen that Bob was a liar and that his course was a waste of money, and so on.

But it appears that this was not enough for her.

Unbeknownst to Bob, she had joined his Facebook Group using a different name than her own. Keep in mind that Bob talked with everyone who paid the $1997 course through his Facebook Group.

This other identity appeared to be very kind and helpful to Bob and everyone else in the group, so much so that Bob eventually appointed this other identity as Group moderator.

And as soon as she was promoted to moderator, she began gently sabotaging Bob and his social media course. She was able to personally contact everyone in the group and entice many of them to join her own Group while gaining their trust.

To cut a long story short, she utilized her position as Bob's moderator as well as her own Facebook Group to cast doubt on Bob and his course. Refunds began to soar, while new sales plunged. Her final move was to create multiple posts that were clearly outside Facebook's rules of service, resulting in the suspension of both Bob's Facebook Group and Bob himself from Facebook.

Bob has asked Facebook to investigate and hopes to be able to use Facebook again, but repairing his good name and reputation will take a lot more than that.

This woman was able to virtually destroy Bob's business by becoming one of his Facebook Group moderators.

This is not an isolated incident, though. I've heard terrible stories of social media moderators who caused lawsuits, lost revenue, and got businesses in trouble with government agencies.

If and when you let anyone else moderator access to any of your social media accounts, you must KNOW who they are and that you can trust them, because it only takes one moderator from hell to potentially destroy everything you've achieved.

*I changed Bob's name because the poor guy has already gone through a lot.