How an online community group encourages individuals to be “Confident & Kind”

Please be advised that topics shared in this article may be considered triggering and vulnerable; but no direct quotations, images, or screenshots pertaining to this information will be shared. All group members’ privacy is maintained, and all shared screenshots are from information that is available to the public.

Created by successful YouTuber and online influencer, Sierra Schultzzie, a private Facebook group has allowed people around the globe to surround themselves with a virtual community of uplifting and caring individuals that are somewhere on their body-positive journey.

Image created on Canva, Illustrations by NotionPic

The group initially named “Confident & Kind” on April 8, 2020 quickly changed to “Confident & Kind: Community.” Though the change may be simple, it truly captures the engagement and meaning behind this page.

Screenshot taken from “Confident & Kind: Community” on Facebook.com

On this page, you can find posts created mainly by community members and heavily monitored by 4 Admins and 11 Moderators, about topics like body-positivity, breaking social norms, and all things fashion. Along with posts that seek encouragement, advice, and the chance to build long-lasting friendships outside of this virtual community.

The rules and guidelines for this group are lengthy, but much needed for a group that touches particularly vulnerable topics.

Some of the rules that are directly related to this are as follows:

Screenshot taken from “Confident & Kind: Community” on Facebook.com
Screenshot taken from “Confident & Kind: Community” on Facebook.com
Screenshot taken from “Confident & Kind: Community” on Facebook.com

In order to abide by the rules of this page, (and for personal compassion and moral standards) no direct screenshots or quotes of personal and vulnerable content will be shared, but the importance of this type of community should learned from.

With 20.5K members in this group, engagement on posts is no issue. This community of individuals seeks to uplift, provide feedback, advice, and make other community member’s days. The engagement on posts is encouraging and provides hope that there are so many people who will and can virtually support you.

But, with every community there are topics of conversation that aren’t so cheery. A portion of the post on this page are initially brought forth with a “TW” or “CW,” also known as trigger warnings and content warnings. The group Admin ask that warnings should be labeled on posts that are vulnerable and relate to a variety of topics pertaining to “death, abuse, eating disorders, miscarriage, suicide, etc.” (Confident & Kind: Community Group Rules).

Posts with these types of content are often well received and monitored by Admin and Moderators. Any hateful comments and posts will not be permitted, and that is widely known amongst active members of the group.

This approach to managing and moderating conversations may seem like a no-brainer, but one would be surprised to see the number of groups and online communities that don’t follow the same standard. Online community creators should learn from this brief example to better allow their community to be a safe-haven. A place where any posted content will be received well and if needed will be met with respectful and civil discussion and feedback.

Online communities, especially those seeking to bring positivity to others should be a place of acceptance, growth, and open-mindedness — not a place for hate or bullying.

Use this group as an example when creating or becoming a member of a group that may involve topics that are sensitive and private in nature. Respect shared content, encourage others to be brave, allow room for respectful discussion, and don’t forget to simply be kind.

Social Media Master’s Student @ UF / Creator of Soleil and Clay