Occasional Commentator

Moderating for religious content

Hi! I'm hoping for a little insight from more seasoned moderators on the best way to handle this.

We are a community of work-at-home call center agents. This is a business-oriented community, although we do have social groups.

Our community has a lot of members who are deeply religious. They tend to say things like, "god bless you," "hallelujah," "isn't god's earth beautiful?" etc. Basically innocuous, but explicitly religious.

Our guidelines prohibit discussions of religion topics, and community members are reporting the "god bless you" type posts left and right. I don't feel totally confident removing or editing these posts since they aren't overtly incendiary and I don't want to cause unnecessary hurt feelings; however they are technically in violation, and when I take no action the reporters feel their voice is not being heard.

I would love to hear advice or suggestions--thanks!

5 Replies 5
Honored Contributor


a tricky one for sure, my opinion is just that so take with a pinch of salt, this may be blunt but...

ignore the reports!!!! 

I’m someone who is deeply fascinated by all religion yet I’m an atheist who accepts people have different value and belief systems and I find it absolutely amazing that anyone could be offended by someone saying godbless, and in my own opinion they need to get a grip! 

Discussing religion in my book isn’t the same as commenting about how amazing gods earth is or saying god bless.

lastly when I say ignore them, if they are repeating flagging,  I would PM the people reporting the comments and ask that they stop reporting, acknowledge their concern but on reflection you don’t agree these salutations break the community rules as such no action will be taken, push comes to it ask them to avoid or ignore the users in question  

again my opinion, but it’s trolls like this who cause these issues, why people cannot just be accepting of everyone and not take offense in everything, is beyond me  

peace to everyone!! 



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Occasional Commentator

Thanks for your reply! I agree, and it definitely helps to get some outside perspective. There's a difference between "discussing" and "mentioning."

Very true I have similar issues “different topics” but similar issues and I take a very clear line  

sure others will be along shortly to also give their opinion, if you panda to everyone you’ll never get anything done 🙂 




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Honored Contributor

What you need to ask yourself what the intent of that guideline is and apply the rule based on that. I imagine that the intent is to prevent discussions ABOUT religion to prevent a slinging match between users of different (or not) religious backgrounds about the validity of beliefs.

I doubt the intent is to prevent users from honestly engaging in the community discussions. So to that end I would recommend assessing each report based on context.

- If someone participating in the conversation signs off with, thanks using or just casually puts in a religious statement then no action

- If someone drops in to only make a religious statement then I would remove it unless it is in context

- If someone continually reports every and all mention of any religious nature I would have a quiet word with that user about the intent of the guideline

Finally, if you find that lots of users are confused about the rule then reword the rule (and be up front about it). We have tweaked the wording of our guidelines in the past to clear up ambiguity and prevent unnecessary reports.

Respected Contributor

The rule may not be clear enough to ignore reports from your users as has been suggested IMO.  Really interesting one though.


My brother ran an army bomb disposal school in Oman for a couple of years and the students would end everything with inshallah "...God willing". It sort of got on his nerves because their results were proportionate to the work they put in and not God's will. A cultural thing though. 

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