Blog article /3 MIN READ

The dangers of using Facebook groups as a virtual water cooler

Facebook groups for volunteers, staff or customers can turn into forums for raising issues or even making allegations. Archiving these virtual spaces can protect your teams and your organisation.

Capture and securely store the conversations that matter. 

Recently of a number of volunteers within a volunteer fire fighting organisation used a Facebook group to air complaints of bullying and sexual harassment. As a result, the leadership of the organisation took action. Reporting the issues in Facebook made them public, and reportable. Even though the Facebook group is private, it’s considered a public forum in this context. 

In past years, we’ve seen a steady rise in the use of Facebook by businesses and government agencies as a tool for connecting with customers. No longer the domain of purely social interactions, Facebook is now a tool for customer service, and feedback. 

For many organisations, Facebook groups extend into staff training, support and connection and, for not for profits, volunteer support groups. Local groups, work groups and social groups are attracting increased memberships. For example the membership of local groups on Facebook grew 3.3x from February to May 2020 and that trend continues today!

If you’ve provided a Facebook group for staff or volunteers there are some things you can do to keep those spaces safe for your staff or volunteers, in addition to the work that Facebook is doing in this area

  • Set up group rules that including principles of kindness, respect and for work groups, professional conduct. 
  • Make sure your group complies with Facebook’s community standards.
  • Engage a team of moderators to monitor and manage the group. Don’t leave it to one or two people.  A slightly larger moderation team can support each other and and be better able to manage sudden spikes in volume if a topic sparks more interest than usual. 
  • Ensure you comply with your organisation’s recordkeeping policies by archiving your group’s posts and comments. 

How would a Brolly social media archive help?

A Brolly archive of your Facebook group keeps a secure and complete record of your conversations in the group, including a record of edits, deletions and hides. So if conversations trigger legal action you’re able to contribute to a just outcome.

As a bonus, your records in Brolly are easily searchable and filterable so you can keep an eye out for themes, topics and keywords or phrases.

Your archive, or segments of it, can be exported in multiple formats to suit all kinds of reporting and evidence requirements. 

An archive keeps your organisation compliant with recordkeeping requirements


Staff safety and wellbeing are important input into your organisation’s ongoing growth and success. An archive of conversations in the Facebook work groups can keep them safe. 

Local government

Community feedback is essential for government planning, so aside from recordkeeping compliance, an archive gives you access to searchable, easy-to-analyse conversations about the services you provide. 

Volunteer organisations

You have a responsibility to keep your volunteers safe, and the secure complete record offered by an archive will help you do that. For many volunteer organisations like radio stations, emergency services and community groups their volunteers only meet infrequently in real life so a Facebook group is a shared space where you can seek and receive feedback and information that will help you provide the best possible experience for your volunteers, and outcomes for your organisation.

Should you be archiving
your Facebook groups?
20 minutes will tell you!

Book a 20 minute call to learn how Brolly provides social media archiving that protects your records, ensures you’re compliant with recordkeeping and data privacy laws and can save your social media and record management teams hours of effort each week.

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