I'm a participant in several arts and crafts groups on Facebook. Some of them have a 'be nice' rule stated in their group rules. This rule often states that when people post their craft asking 'what do you think', you're only allowed to say 'looks good!' or not react at all.
Last week, I joined a new international group. I don't know where the moderator there is from, their profile is very protected, but there are members from all over the world. After about 2 days there, I saw a post that went something like:
What do you think of X? It's supposed to be a gift, but I'm unsure about its quality. I'm unsure about the colors I picked (I'm always no good at that!) and the fact that I used so many different kinds of yarn.
To me, the doubts expressed in this post were genuine. Although I was new to the group, I had been practicing the craft for a while and had been picking color schemes and yarns for my own crafts for even longer. I thought the thing looked sort of messy and some of the colors were obviously clashing. So, I checked the group rules to see what their rules on feedback were. There wasn't anything that explicitly told me that I could only comment if I could say 'Looks good'.
So, I sandwiched my feedback, complimented the maker on their technique and expressed an interest in learning some tricks from them. I then gave some advice on how to pick colors, and on what to keep in mind when picking different kinds of yarn. I ended with a compliment to the creativeness of the craft.
This was well received by the maker, we continued our chat via private messenger and I gave her more advice on how to pick colors, provided her with references to sites that can help with such things. I told her my favorite kinds of yarn, and we exchanged some pictures of other crafts we did. She also showed me some tricks with regard to the craft we were originally discussing.
The crafter and I took our leave on Facebook, and I went to bed. Only to wake up the next morning with a stern message from a group admin saying:
I removed your post. We want people to be nice. That means you can't criticize other peoples crafts.
I apologized, stated that I didn't see the rule in the group rules and thus thought it was okay to provide constructive feedback, but that I wouldn't do it again.
The reply that came to this message is still puzzling me today, because how am I going to get better at my craft and share my experience/knowledge if it is true?
We shouldn't have to put such things in a group rule. It's common sense and good manners!
I didn't push it further, but since I don't want to make another huge faux pas in other groups, my question is:
Does it go against netiquette to provide constructive feedback in a Facebook group? If not, how do I explain so to the moderator and ask them to put something up in their rules so other people won't make the same mistake, without a risk of getting kicked from the group?