When your brand or company is faced with hate speech and unacceptable comments being made on content you published on your website or social media platforms, what can you do? The Thompson Citizen, a publication serving the community of Thompson, Manitoba in Canada was faced with this situation and resolved it in the only way they felt they could. Many companies are faced with similar situations as people comment on content they have on their websites and social media sites.
It saddened me to read that on January 30, 2013, the news publication, the Thompson Citizen of Manitoba shut down their Facebook page. They announced it in their article titled Racist anti-aboriginal slurs and offensive comments prompt Thompson Citizen to permanently close Facebook page. According to the article, they came to this decision due to commenters posting hateful and racial slurs about Canada’s aboriginal people, along with tagging photos in a similar way. They didn’t feel they could control what was being written and decided their only option was to close their Facebook account.
The same day Thompson Citizen published an editorial addressing the vitriolic comments made about the aboriginals, the homeless in their community and other topics. They decried the sad state of affairs and remind us that we are all human beings.
Before the commenting section at the end of any of their articles you will find these guidelines:
“The Thompson Citizen welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.”
Thompson Citizen chose to close their Facebook page. They were careful to explain the reasoning and provided several links in their article that encouraged their readers to view more discussion on the issue of vitriolic comments.
What are some other options that can be taken when faced with this type of situation? Having your website and social media sites monitored is the best solution. Some companies use software programs for auto-moderating such as Disqus.
The other option, and the one that is the most productive is to hire a moderating service. Here at ICUC that is what we’re all about. It’s our mission to protect and secure your brand using our team of content and community specialists who will monitor and moderate online communities.
Brands use social media to reach out to their customers and engage them in conversation. It’s important to protect your reputation and your online community. If violations of your guidelines, such as hate speech, force you to close down a site, then the purpose of being on social media is defeated. There is a way to remain open and social, to be public and still maintain your own boundaries.
If you’re interested to learn more about ICUC – check out our website, or please feel free to email us at email@example.com.