What happened to the New York Times’ cooking community Facebook group?

The New York Times’ popular Facebook group is in disarray after the media company stopped moderating it.


March 19, 2021

“Hey, is the NYT Facebook cooking group in this building?” (Source: Angela Weiss / Getty Images)

Managing a Facebook group at scale is hard (we know 😉).

While we haven’t mastered it yet… there’s definitely one way NOT to do it.

Over at the New York Times…

… members of its Facebook group for cooking enthusiasts are roasting the New York Times over a half-baked plan to abandon the group.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the fiasco from reporter Erin Biba:

  • NYT’s Cooking Community Facebook group has ~77k members
  • The group was moderated by 4 NYT employees that had full-time jobs outside of moderation
  • As it turns out, managing a Facebook group is a huge undertaking

Rather than take the heat, the NYT is getting out of the kitchen, disassociating itself from the group and precipitating a free-for-all to see which members will take over.

Per our Ethan Brooks, the full NYT Cooking subscription is a ~$43m business. But when it comes to managing brand communities, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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