Sometimes, moderating the Revelstoke Community Facebook page takes Lisa Timerick away from her daughter, who is a toddler.
Rather than spend time sifting through comments on a particularly controversial post, Timerick will delete it and go back to taking care of her child.
“You can’t just switch off and say ‘I am going to spend this bit of time in the day moderating’ because if things get out of hand and people get stressed out and start being nasty to each other, then, you can’t just leave that run for a few hours, you have to get involved in some way to deal with it,” Timerick said.
She started the group in July of 2016 after a conversation-starting post was deleted from the RevySell Facebook page. In just a few days the community grew to 400 people. On April 16, 2020, the group had more than 7,300 members.
What started out as a place for nice, fluffy messages and posts about community events, has grown to be a space for debates that sometimes lead to bickering, hate and calls for violence.
“Since the COVID stuff it has gone through the roof,” she said. “There is a lot of tension and cabin fever and people have a lot of time on their hands.”
Timerick said she has been accused of being biased, a dictator and taking away people’s freedom of speech. The accusations often give her pause as she evaluates her own opinions and how they might impact what posts she allows.
She said she does her best to be fair.
“I was trying to keep everyone happy, but that was impossible,” she said.
The number one rule that Timerick sticks to is that the page is meant for Revelstoke based discussion. If something isn’t relevant or central to Revelstoke, the post will be removed.
As a result of this hard and fast rule, another Revelstoke Community Facebook page has popped up, this time labelled as uncensored.
Timerick said she was happy to see it, and that it has made her job moderating her own page easier.