The Light Collective has identified a set of best practices for moderators of online peer support groups.

Screen + Verify Identity of Members

Moderator uses an approved screening protocol to control where screening information is stored and to ensure that group members are legitimate community members.

Inform about Risks

Moderator uses a clear, interactive process for informing group members of risks and benefits of participation, including privacy limitations.

Provide Clear Guidelines

Moderator establishes and posts clear guidelines for appropriate content of group, for standards of behavior, and for rules on what is and is not allowed (e.g., photos, fundraising, etc.).

Be Consistent

Moderator(s) is consistent in engagement with members, in mediating problems, in removing problematic people, in connecting people to others with similar issues or external resources.

Provide Evidence-Based Information

Moderator addresses incorrect information promptly and respectfully and uses evidence-based information from respected sources to do so.

Monitor & Communicate Data Access

Moderators have the responsibility to monitor data access, as possible, and to communicate information about data access and breaches to group members as soon as possible after learning about access event.

Ensure Informed Consent

Moderator provides clear and interactive informed consent to members. Members must understand if their group has agreed to participate in a type of data-sharing, if they have agreed individually to participate in data-sharing, and be able to opt out of all of the above.

Actively Facilitate

Moderator has a clear protocol for facilitating difficult conversations and handling disagreement among members and is actively engaged in this process.