Mandurah Q and A co-founder talks managing ‘trolls’ and uniting the community

More than expected: Tanya Kimber started Facebook group Mandurah Q And A with her father Graeme. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

More than expected: Tanya Kimber started Facebook group Mandurah Q And A with her father Graeme. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

Founders of the popular Facebook group Mandurah Q and A say they would never have anticipated being contacted by police, held liable for defamatory comments, or made to block more than 3000 people in the six years the site has been running.

What started as a father-daughter project has since exploded into an online hub for sharing local advice.

The idea for the popular Facebook group, boasting more than 33,200 members, came to fruition in 2012 after Graeme Kimber realised there was nothing similar online. 

He wanted to create a space where members could ask questions and receive reliable advice from the Mandurah community. 

Tanya Kimber helped her father create the page which became “much bigger than (they) had anticipated”.

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“We thought we would get 100, to 200 members,” she said. “It just blew up.” 

Ms Kimber believes the page initially gained traction from a pelican video posted on the page that went viral. 

On average, the page gets between 30 and 50 member requests each day.

Shortly after its emergence, admins were enlisted to help the Kimbers manage the page. 

Currently the group has four admins, who monitor abusive language, bullying and “trolls”. 

“We decided to crack down on the abuse and the torment,” she said. 

We have to keep an eye on the pot-stirrers.

Tanya Kimber

“We recently got another admin.”

Ms Kimber said the move came after users reported an increase in bullying, about three months ago. 

“It was getting out of control, so we thought we had to monitor it a lot more,” she said.

“You couldn’t comment without having someone trolling.

“We have to keep an eye on the pot-stirrers.”

The user experience has improved since then, Ms Kimber said.

“We are still deleting a lot of posts and comments but it seems to have calmed down a lot,” she said.

I would like it to become useful tool for tourists in the future.

Tanya Kimber

“We don’t usually block people unless they are really bad, we usually just mute them for 24 hours then reassess.”

However, Ms Kimber said they have had to block about 3000 Facebook users, in six years.

Ms Kimber said she had been contacted by police on two occasions to remove user posts.

One, was when a leaked document was released naming an alleged paedophile and the other identified a man accused of assault, in an ongoing investigation.

Ms Kimber said she could be held liable if a user defames another person, so it was important for admins to be vigilant in deleting these posts. 

Despite the sometimes time-consuming maintenance, Ms Kimber said she wanted the page to expand.

“I would like it to become useful tool for tourists in the future,” she said.