Is it okay to delete negative comments on Facebook?

Faith Ocampo Published on December 14, 2015

trash-bin-along-teal-wall-with-crumpled-paper
Your Facebook page is a place where you can gather your target audience, discuss your brand, and celebrate your milestones together. But what if someone, who’s not even one of your followers, defaces your page?

Okay, the term “deface” may be a little over-dramatic, but take this for example: Imagine you’re a make-up company. You posted a photo of all your new products made especially for holiday parties. All of a sudden, a negative comment pops up on your Facebook post. The commenter is calling you and your customers criminals because you’re allegedly using child labor to source raw materials. None of it is true, so you’re outraged and a little bit worried. Now, what should you do?

For comments that seem to do more harm than good, where do you draw the line between deleting them and letting them stay on your page?

Sometimes, it’s okay to delete negative comments.


1. Comments should not be offensive to your other followers.

miniature-human-figures-fixing-keyboard-delete-button

In the example above, the comment is downright disrespectful not just to you but also to your customers. They called all of you “criminals” and accused you of doing something illegal when nothing could be farther from the truth. For the sake of online reputation management, deleting such defamatory comments may be better.

2. There’s a right place for everything.

But sometimes, this just isn’t the case in the online world. Users have the total freedom to post their opinions (in this case, accusations) wherever and whenever they want, which makes social media monitoring all the more necessary. You can encourage the commenter to take their complaints somewhere else, but the negative and false claims have to go.

3. Why should online platforms be different from real life?

If someone randomly walks into your store and accuses your brand of doing something illegal, your first impulse would be to call security and politely show them to the door. Shouldn’t the same principle apply in Facebook?

When you think about it, these arguments do have a valid point. The scary part, however, is that deleting negative comments on Facebook often results in bigger social media catastrophes.

 

It’s not okay to delete negative comments.


finger-about-to-delete-Facebook-mobile-app

1. Brands should always promote transparency.

You can argue that deleting inappropriate content is part of social media monitoring. However, customers would find it hard to trust brands that delete user comments on their Facebook wall. Sure, you’re not hiding something but your customers will get the impression that you are. Keeping all comments on your page, whether positive or negative, is one way of promoting transparency and open discussion.

2. Learn how to respond to negative comments.

Responding properly to negative feedback is a big part of online reputation management. Always remember to be professional, approach the issue with an open mind, and try to give honest and polite responses all the time.

To go back to our main question, where must brands draw the line between deleting comments and letting them show on their social media pages? It’s a tough decision, because we all want to promote transparency and open discussion while keeping our online reputation intact. There are times when it’s okay to remove comments that are defamatory and highly irrelevant. Complaints directly concerning your products or services, however, would always need a response.

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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