Before trying out a business process, brands familiarize themselves with the best practices and no-no’s of the task to make certain that it would be executed seamlessly. It’s essential to get the most out of a service by sticking with the time-tested steps and steering clear of actions that are potentially damaging to your assets or audience.In content moderation, most of the expert-prescribed methods involve imposing authority among your community, keeping policies private, and barring negative content. While these are truly effective methods for maintaining quality and order on your site, doing the opposite of these isn’t entirely harmful. In fact, bending the rules a bit is a winning move when it comes to managing your community and handling user-generated content (UGC).See these three norm-defying policies, and consider implementing them to create healthier interactions among community members while getting valuable content from them.1. Ditching the figure of authorityModerators (or admins, as several social networks call them) are normally the authoritative entity that makes sure rules get implemented on your site. Since they spot violators and serve appropriate penalties for offenses, they need to put on a face of sternness. Otherwise, your online following may not abide by your posting guidelines and quality standards.They usually work behind the scenes and only get in touch with users through private messages when they need to reprimand someone. In forums, however, they are more visible.Moderators can interact with your online community as a normal member aside from doing official duties like making announcements and occasional reminders about site rules. In this type of setting, it’s best that you let figures of authority be more approachable to make their presence be felt as a point of contact rather than a watchdog. If you welcome UGC as a way of boosting market engagement, then your moderators should have a friendly approach all the more. You can observe a difference in how natural conversations flow when contributors don’t feel monitored but rather guided.This doesn’t mean that your moderators should be completely lenient, though. Rules must always be upheld, but there must be a balance between the moderators’ friendliness and their authoritative power.2. Exposing corporate policiesSubmission guidelines should be published on your site and well-disseminated to your online community to make sure that users are aware of what type of materials they should contribute and what sanctions they could be subjected to if they violate your rules. This gives your moderator every right to impose penalties without offenders reasoning that they were not informed about your regulations.While there are rules that should definitely be public, there are others that need to be kept within company walls in order to protect your organization’s interests. By exposing corporate policies, you might likewise expose your brand to risks from competitors and abusive users alike. One small detail can turn into a loophole that others can use against you.However, policy exposure would only be a problem if you have something to hide. If you’re confident that your rules are fair and beneficial to your audience, then you shouldn’t be afraid to publicize them in the first place. Another point: transparency is now a responsibility in the social business landscape, especially for organizations that thrive on contributed content. Let people know about the processes that their submissions go through to assure them that they’re in good hands.3. Welcoming negative contentThe whole point of content moderation is to filter out “negative” materials – anything that is damaging to your visitors or against your quality standards, posting rules, and public image. In a fundamental sense, bad reviews and complaints are counted as negative content because they contain information that is potentially damaging to your brand. So does this mean that they should be completely barred from your online channels as well? Not necessarily.Keep in mind that content moderation is more than just about freeing your site from “undesirable” materials; it’s also a way of cultivating valuable information and quality exchanges within your fence. And any form of feedback – as long as it’s genuine – is valuable because it lets you see weak points that you may have otherwise overlooked had you not receive a negative comment. Complaints and criticisms are cost-free market insights that you can turn into actionable data for improvement.One service complaint posted as a comment on your Facebook Page may be seen by the rest of the following, but the way your admins handle the situation will also get a share of the limelight. Negative comments grant you a time to shine as a model brand: you get a chance to explain your part, make up for an error, and prove your honesty and fairness to your audience. Blocking only does the opposite, as you don’t really muffle complaints but actually amplify them by sending them to a more public platform where your case can overblow.