Collingswood Facebook Community Group (Like H-Town’s) Blows Up

Phillyvoice has an article about yet another Facebook community group splintering due to drama trauma. Why did journalist Kevin C. Shelly report this non-event as “news” when it isn’t really new? Because in our modern era, online groups are something worth talking about. We want our own community groups to help to our community instead of hinder it.

Philly Voice Article

Collingswood’s group seems to have split up over typical stuff. Usually, bad member behavior and a lessening of moderation by the group’s administrators cause the rift. If rule-reminders aren’t handed out regularly, behavior doesn’t re-align with the goals of the group. Behavior grows more errant until a split occurs. A new group is formed with a curated membership, similar rules, and good moderation.

We have one or two Facebook Community Groups here in H-Town. The most active is the Havertown Community Group (HCG), run by Administrators Kim Lacovara-Barr and Carrie Kauffman. The HCG has 3,770 members. Haverford Township has (by 2010 census) 35,878 residents. That means HCG’s membership is roughly 10.5% of the population. (These numbers are estimates, as HCG members can come from surrounding towns).

As far as Facebook groups go, these are some impressive numbers. It’s very possible a group of this size can enact real change in H-Town. For example, one of the topics of conversation in the HCG right now may end up making a difference for all of us: The Red Plum Mailers. Townies are throwing around the idea of throwing the Red Plum Mailer people out of H-Town. Talk of a petition is brewing. (One can request Red Plum to remove her address from the list, but we’ve tried this and have seen no results. The mailers still end up on HavertowniesHQ’s driveway). If enough interest is generated, perhaps the issue will be brought in front of the Commissioners or the Delco Board. That’s powerful stuff.

HCG’s admins seem to be quite on top of things and will occasionally remind members to refer back to the rules. This is vital for online communities. We should do part as members to keep this powerful tool together. Gathered from around the Web, here are a few Rules to Post By to help us in our quest. And yes, members have more rules than Admins. Members make the group. Admins simply set up the virtual tables and chairs.

Just remember: whatever you type online will be remembered when you bump into people IRL

Just remember: whatever you type online will be remembered when you bump into people IRL

Rules to Post By
10 Netiquette Rules for Townie Netizens

    1. Know the online community group of which you are a member is not a democracy. It is owned/run by admins who have ultimate control over its membership and content.
    2. Know Internet language. Silly emojis aren’t appropriate in serious threads and NEVER USE ALL CAPS, even if you are in fact yelling at your screen.
    3. If you are yelling at your screen, DON’T POST. Go away, calm down.
    4. Keep the sarcasm to yourself. You may think you are so very witty, but community groups just don’t get you, bro.
    5. Advice is only welcome when it is asked for. Keep it dry and to the point.
    6. The group is not free ad space for your business or fundraiser. Or for your kitten pics. 
    7. Respect people’s pain. Perhaps you don’t think something is “a big deal.” They do. Leave it be.
    8. If you can’t leave it be, start a new (respectful) discussion post. Do not hijack someone else’s thread.
    9. Don’t correct other people’s grammar. Online doing so is considered a big no-no and will enrage the most Zen person on Earth. Plus, in Internet lore, the one who corrects grammar or refers to Nazis first loses the argument. Ask for clarification only if you really need to. e.g., The your/you’re typo doesn’t need clarifying.
    10. The Internet in general is a liberal place. If you are not willing to interact with people of different cultures or beliefs, then tread carefully (or not at all) into community groups. 

3 Netiquette Rules for Townie Admins

    1. Don’t do it alone. Have at least 2 admins. More if the group is very active.
    2. Be brave. Banning is rarely necessary but it must occur sometimes. If you like, you can list an appeals process a user can follow in hopes to be reinstated.
    3. Your job is basically secretarial. Stay out of the drama. Intervene only when you are asked or if you see a member being terribly abused or disrespected.


And that’s it! Happy posting. Let us know if any other helpful Townie groups exist. We’ll add ’em to the list!



Collingswood Facebook Group Dust-Up

Havertown Community Group on Facebook

Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

Mastering Online Board Discussion (.pdf)


  1. […] Havertownies article (by me) relating our own community group to the Collingswood situation […]