A recent incident in a large community where a small number of moderators went rogue led me to believe that more needs to be said about the difference between a community manager and a moderator. There’s still confusion in some areas about the difference between the two, and this confusion, in the right circumstances, can lead to bedlam. I can’t be the only community manager who hears “oh right, so you delete comments and stuff?” whenever I tell people what I do for a living. Obviously this can be personally frustrating, but it can also cause professional difficulties for people in both roles. Some businesses expect a moderator to do the work of a CM, without giving them the pay, resources or support to do so. Others are pretty sure that all a CM does is “delete comments and stuff”, and dismiss the need for one based on that. Given the pressing need for both roles in modern marketing, businesses that take this stance are likely to be left in the dust. So what’s the difference?
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