It is a sad affair that an industry such as window cleaning that strives to improve its image is marred by a handful of window cleaners that have nothing more to do in their working day than to set up fake Facebook accounts and stir trouble. Facebook users that surf posts are looking for healthy banter, tips and advice. Some trolls are brash and openly admit that they like to wind up window cleaners and do not even conceal their identity. Is this really healthy for our industry? Is it right that ‘haters’ hate on limited or no facts at all but simply on the suggestion of ‘hate’ leaders sometimes with secret agendas and sometimes with nothing more than just killing time.
As a Facebook Group leader myself I feel I have a certain amount of responsibility to the members of our group. We want our members to have a pleasant experience and to enjoy a healthy online social media platform. The feeling of a great community united. As Editor of the Window Cleaning Magazine and leader in many high profile FB Groups and organisations I feel that I have to conduct myself in a positive way as best as I can. I look towards the industry leaders to do the same. No one wants to see manufacturer on manufacturer’s public spats, it’s not good for products and brands these companies sell. Besides industry leaders should be setting an example. I am pleased to say, most do.
It is so bizarre. For example – I have been told that one ‘hate leader’ just simply wants to destroy me. And when asked why? They can’t answer it with anything other than things like, ‘I was ignored’. At every moment they feed into a group and split communities. I have never got this mentality. And it upsets me to see an industry divided through stubborn, hateful behaviour with no grounds at all.
Sure I am a realist, in every society there are ‘difficult’ people. Not everyone is going to agree. But the crucial difference is when a disagreement crosses the line into mindless hate and negativity. 98% of window cleaners using Facebook Groups are not like this I am pleased to say. But that 2% is enough to spoil your online experience.
Is that a Facebook Group you would want to interact with? I dont think it is. So in the interest of new people coming into the industry I feel it necessary to share the tools that would help window cleaners decide on the right Facebook Group for them. This information might be helpful to seasoned Facebook posters too, although many will know the Groups to avoid already.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to avoid ‘Hate’ Groups on Facebook
1) Research a Group to form your own opinion.
A Facebook Group setting can be set at private or public. If it is set at public you are able to read posts. This ensures that you can scan posts to see if it is the type of Group that you would like to join. If it is private then you will have to join to do the same, but you can always leave if it is not right for you.
2) Research the Admin on the Group and Group Leader.
There is something that cannot be hidden and that is somebody’s real character and the way an admin operates. Select the admins name and place it in the ‘search’ field at the top right of the group. You can find the admins names by going into the members list and selecting or searching for admin. You are now able to scan all the comments made by the selected admin. Chances are if the admin is regularly abusive or negative to individuals or manufactures then that group will have a lot of that type of member in it as well. Remember these people should lead by example, they should not be involved in massive negative posts. Admin’s job is there to assist if problems arise, not to be part of the problem. This information is hard to hide and you can go back as far as the Groups birth.
3) Search for negative keywords and read up
Search keywords such as ‘fake account’ or abusive words. This will direct you to any negative feeding frenzy in that Group. Read the entire feeding frenzy and ask if your business can benefit from it?
Check if the group has a policy on bad behaviour. Sometimes you can find this under the ‘file’ tab. On our Group this file is called ‘WCM setting the standard for ZERO tolerance: Abuse and harassment’.
Can you complain? Is there a procedure? Will it be dealt with professionally, fairly and swiftly? Is there any other information supplied such as advice on how to protect yourself against trolls or personal attacks?
Sites that have information like this will generally eradicate all bad negative behaviour.
It is important to note that just because a Group does not have this information available it may not mean that it is a bad site. I have friends that have big FB groups, and their sites are AWESOME. You must take all these points into perspective and come to an educated view in order to help form your final decision to commit to a group.
5) Ask admin if they are signed up to a Zero Tolerance scheme
Window Cleaning Magazine and Waggas Window Cleaning Community Facebook Groups have signed up to this. But unofficially we do share information with other groups too such as Window Cleaning UK. Information is shared between our groups to help stamp out trolls and bad behaviour or fake trouble making accounts.
Here is the basics of the Zero Tolerance scheme:
Window Cleaning Magazine believes that no one should experience online bullying and harassment. This includes naming and shaming behavior that simply turns into personal attacks.
THE SITE PROCEDURE:
1) Keep it off the wall – if you have a problem please try and address it through a personal message or telephone. Do not clog the wall.
2) No hate campaigns against individuals or manufactures. This includes manufacturer on manufacturer!
3) No vile swearing, although swearing is allowed. Consider your context. And absolutely no racism!
4) Banter is good but recognize when you have crossed the line.
5) Have a problem with a manufacturer? Keep it off the wall. Deal with them direct. WCM may be able to be an intermediate if required.
6) Apologies if you think somebody has took you the wrong way and you didn’t mean it. Conversely, if someone says sorry to you and that they did not mean how you have taken it, thank them and say ‘no problem’.
So what if you are experiencing a problem? Contact our admin immediately in order for us to deal with any problems.
IF YOU ARE TROLLING OR BULLYING YOU WILL BE REMOVED FROM THIS GROUP. Members have a right to a safe zone.
Difference of opinions will happen, this promotes debate – respect each other at all times.
Blog wrap up
So you have read the spats, judged admins behaviour, assessed the group’s well being and checked for any information on a complaints procedure or anti bullying policy. Your next step is to assess if your business will benefit from the Group. If it is professional at all times, the language is relatively clean most of the time, there is healthy banter and lots of helpful tips and you get a general good feeling – then join. If you realised your judgement is incorrect you can always leave the group. By researching this thoroughly tho, you will save a little more time and apply your business efforts to more productive sites.
Other great Facebook Groups are Window Cleaners and Professional Window Cleaning that we recommend you check out.