Community Management, Guest Posts, Social Media Tools, Brand Communities, Facebook

5 Tips for Using Facebook’s Moderation Blocklist

jessica carlson  5 Tips for Using Facebooks Moderation BlocklistGuest post from Jessica Carlson, a social media manager at Off Madison Ave who specializes in building social communities that create brand loyalists and garner key insights.

“Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself.” -Potter Stewart

Facebook recently released a Moderation Blocklist, a functionality that allows Page administrators to set parameters around certain keywords, automatically marking posts with those topics as spam, and placing it in the Hidden Posts filter where only administrators can view the content. My immediate reaction was “Clients are going to LOVE this!” but, it quickly followed with, “Consumers are going to see right through this…”

While the profanity filter aspect comes as a welcome addition to Facebook Page functionality, the Moderation Blocklist presents the potential for backlash and missed opportunities.

Imagine you’re the community manager for Chipotle and you choose to filter out mentions of your competitor, Baja Fresh. Then, along comes a customer who’s been a Chipotle brand loyalist since he could eat solid foods, but strayed from the path and stopped in at Baja Fresh the other day. Now, he’s unhappy with that life choice – the beans gave him bad gas, he felt lazy after lunch and he spilled guac on his new jeans. So, he expresses himself (in writing) on Chipotle’s Facebook Wall:

“I gotta say, I’m with Chipotle for life, but I just got a burrito at Baja Fresh and it was horrible – both the food and the experience. I’ll spare you the details. If you’ll have me back, I’m never, ever eating anything but Chipotle again.”

If Chipotle has their filter up, they’re missing out on this customer’s social advocacy.

Facebook Moderation BlockList 300x215 5 Tips for Using Facebooks Moderation BlocklistSure, Chipotle can (and presumably would) monitor the Hidden Posts and unhide the mentions that despite including competitors, actually tell a positive brand story, but it creates a moderated and asynchronous atmosphere on the page.It’s also deceiving, as the customer will think their Wall post is public, but may eventually notice that no one from the community has responded.

It may make it appear that your company is running from criticism, or is trying to censor anything that could potentially be a threat to it’s image.

Filtering for keywords might help keep the overall tone positive, but doesn’t that fly in the face of social media in general? All information is good information, even if it’s less than flattering. By allowing customers to sound off, you give your company a chance to right a wrong.

5 Tips for Using Facebook’s Moderation Blocklist

1. Set a filter for topics that are irrelevant to your organization. For example, state tourism departments could moderate keywords and phrases that relate to the state’s political happenings that aren’t relevant to their organization.

2. Keep the bullies quiet. Every once in awhile certain users will try to provoke others with personal attacks. Page administrators can use the Moderation Blocklist to hide these unsightly remarks by using keywords and phrases that would likely signify someone bullying a community member.

3. Use it for any new offensive slang terms that aren’t picked up by the profanity filter. With brands that target younger audiences, Urban Dictionary has likely become their new best friend. If you notice a certain inappropriate slang term that’s getting missed by the profanity filter, use the moderating tool instead.

4. Turn it on when your organization’s unnecessarily under fire. While “unnecessarily” can be rather objective, there are going to be certain organizations that can’t really change their beliefs or business practices due to one group’s criticisms.

5. Remember that it’s not completely hidden. Currently, when users post to the Wall or leave a comment and use words or phrases that are listed on the Moderation Blocklist, the user and their Facebook friends will still be able to see the post or comment – just not the rest of the community. Check your hidden posts on a regular basis to remove posts that truly do not belong on the Page.

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  • http://www.davidakermanis.com David Akermanis

    Great post. For the most part I agree, but I wouldn’t overlook the potential that Facebook’s new moderation blocklist has for has for companies that operate in highly regulated industries like pharma.

    Most of the time they’re precluded from building communities on Facebook because specific user commentary would render their page in violation of certain regulatory frameworks. The moderation blocklist is definitely a step in the right direction for them.

  • http://www.davidakermanis.com David Akermanis

    Great post. For the most part I agree, but I wouldn’t overlook the potential that Facebook’s new moderation blocklist has for has for companies that operate in highly regulated industries like pharma.

    Most of the time they’re precluded from building communities on Facebook because specific user commentary would render their page in violation of certain regulatory frameworks. The moderation blocklist is definitely a step in the right direction for them.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

      Excellent point David. Thanks for mentioning that.

  • http://twitter.com/Hallie495 Hallie Kenney

    Depending on the brand, I think this new tool could be VERY useful. But I agree with Jessica – isn’t social media inherently volatile and totally supportive of free speech (as negative as it could be)? And isn’t it our job, as social community managers, to keep a close on the conversations that are happening anyway? I’m all for blocking the profanity (saves time and lots of client issues), but I try to stay away from too much automation…

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

    • http://twitter.com/jessicahcarlson jessica carlson

      I totally agree, Hallie – it’s better to air slightly unfavorable feedback out in the open so you can be proactive about it, and more importantly learn from it. Unless, as David points to below, you’re under strict regulations (government, or due to shareholders), but still need some wiggle room to start/keep engaging your audiences.

  • http://www.kateknittel.com/blog Kate

    Excellent article, and I agree that many consumers would see right through it if the Moderation Filter omitted any and all things negative. There are, however, a large portion of our society would not take the time to see what is “not” there. Unfortunately, they would fall for this as quickly as flies fall for honey.
    While I believe that this is an excellent tool, I can also see the potential for unscrupulous companies to count on this ignorance.

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    I just watched Kate Buck’s presentation on the awesome benefits (outsource 90% of the work) to be had from bringing a kick butt social media manager onto your payroll. Now I’ve got to add what I’ve learned from you Jessica, to the notes I took! Thanks for enlightening me!

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual office assistant

    Thanks for the great tips. Social media is the effective way of connecting with potential customers and it has some drawback too and we have to be careful and look out for spammers. Thanks once again for sharing and i will certainly implement these in my A/C.

  • http://jeremypenrod.com Jeremy Penrod

    Thanks for the info! I hadn’t thought of the potential backlash.

  • http://www.margauxzion.com Margaux Zion

    Excellent post! Thanks so much for the tips, Jay!

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  • Web Rifer Technologies

    Excellent post. Thanks for the info!

  • Adish

    Can I block a sentence using Facebook’s Moderation Blocklist..??
    Many people are commenting “Pls Like this page”
    How will I stop this?