Hey Stan,

Back in October, I started an online cosplay group to connect with others at my college. It currently has 15 people with maybe only a few of them being active (besides myself). Recently, I’ve been having an issue with a new group member. They have been disrespecting and insulting the other members on several occasions. I’ve talked with them about their behavior twice already but nothing has changed. Everyone wants me to kick them out but the group is small. What do you think, is this group member worth keeping?

Best Regards,

My Advice

Ask Stan: Remember in Starship Troopers when Michael Ironside is presented tells his troops, “These are the rules. Everybody fights, nobody quits. If you don’t do your job I’ll kill you myself.” I had a same policy when I was in-charge of a group project (only replace kill with fail). Being in college, you have to learn right away that not all group members are worth your time or effort if they refuse to there part. When managing an online community requires the same mindset as it’s not worth keeping those who create a toxic environment. Big or small, not taking action and enforcing the rules will hurt your chances to build a community.

I’ve seen this happen first hand in several fan groups on Facebook. The groups were good until the behavior of the toxic members went unchallenged. They would post content that went against the group rules (usually unrelated content, spam or hateful remarks) while the admins were unresponsive. The worst is when an admin would encourage some of the hateful behavior. The community you want to build is based on students at a school, people who you want to meet up with after the pandemic (like at a cosplay gathering). Thus you want to foster a more positive group, one that has no place for a hostile member who brings no value to you or the others.

Ask Stan is a weekly advice column that will answer questions anyone has about games, anime, cosplay, conventions and more. You may submit your question and it will be published here (if selected).

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that highlights the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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