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As community managers, we really do want everyone to peacefully co-exist. However, this can’t always be the case. In fact, it is is rarely the case. As in life, not everyone in a community, real or virtual will get along. That’s just the way it is.

As the leader, charged with growing the community and helping to cultivate relationships, you also have to know how to step in and take action. Sometimes that action means banning members from the community. It’s not something you want to do often by any means, but you do need to know when there is simply no other choice.

Here are seven situations that could lend themselves to banning visitors:

  1. They continually push the limits and ignore your guidelines or Terms of Service
  2. They are being openly defiant as a means of getting attention.
  3. They are harassing other members on a continual basis with no end in sight.
  4. They live to post inappropriate links and not much else.
  5. They are recruiting others to join a destructive cause within your community.
  6. Everything they post is hostile and an effort to create chaos
  7. They are disrespecting or attacking you publicly and making the issue personal.

I am not indicating that each of these situations should result in a banning. I’ve had every single instance occur in my community and I was sometimes able to communicate with the person and reverse the situation, which ultimately is ideal for both sides.

But I’ve also been in situations that were utterly hopeless, and banning was the only way.

What unique situations have occurred in your community that made “baning” the only option?

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.

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