Censorship: Think Before Deleting Comments in Social Media

censorship in social media

Negative opinions and comments that you don’t like don’t merit immediate censorship – Think before hitting delete!

I was chatting with a friend the other day about a comment she didn’t like on a Facebook post. She told me “Well I didn’t like it, so I removed it.” I asked if the comment was especially negative, off-topic or otherwise offensive and she stated that no, she just didn’t like it.  This really struck a cord for me, and not in the most positive way.

For social media to be “social” there has to be dialog – Two way dialog. My policies often include never removing negative comments or “opinions” unless they are purposefully nasty to the blog author, advertise irrelevant products or are somehow derogatory in nature. Certainly this leaves room for interpretation, however I feel strongly that everyone has a voice and that voice should be heard so long as it is respectful of whatever policies are in place.

Simply removing a negative opinion often “fires up” the individual who made the comment. It’s like adding fuel to the fire and can cause you to get burnt in the long run. So my advice is to simply leave the comment where it is and respond directly to the post.

Here are a few brief things you can do to address a negative comment on your social media outlets.

  • Take control before things spin out-of-control and address comments head-on.
  • Be respectful to those posting the comments; Always take the high-road and be sincere in your response.
  • Address comments as quickly as possible – A good rule of thumb is to respond to Facebook or blog posts within 24-hours or to Twitter within a few hours.
  • Personalize how you respond using the individuals name if at all possible. Don’t use terms like “valued customer”. If the writer used an alias to hide their identity, use that name in your response.
  • Follow-up to the comment in other ways. Can you call the individual? Email them? Respond with a personal message on Facebook?
  • And most importantly don’t hide your head in the sand and hope it will go away. It won’t!

Be proactive by creating a social media policy ahead of time to guide you and your team should a situation arise. At that point you can ensure discussions remain within the parameters you have set and can enforce the policy regarding offensive posts and comments.

About Tammy

Tammy Mayrend is the Search and Social Media Director at PWB. Her skills at building targeted online marketing campaigns has helped customers achieve goals quickly through innovative projects. She's versed in social media, search engine marketing, search engine optimization as well as traditional marketing strategies. Feeling strongly that professionals must walk-the-walk to talk-the-talk, she has also built a successful online presence with her blog www.AnnArborMom.blogspot.com. Tammy is an active community volunteer with Boy and Girl Scouts, and soccer. With her two children she enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening and in the pursuit of many other creative endeavors. She has also been blessed with a versatile singing voice and has even performed the National Anthem at Comerica Park!
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