Are You the Next Target for Facebook Censorship?

In the past, Facebook has come under scrutiny for the lack of transparency in its privacy policies. Most recently, 73 human rights organizations have taken issue with Facebook’s vague criteria for banned content. A collaborate letter was sent to CEO Zuckerberg requesting clarification of its policies governing what posts get taken down (since many human rights news posts have been censored). What does this have to do with your business?

What Gets Banned on Facebook

If your business is not in any way tied to human rights advocacy, you may think that you don’t need to tune into this discussion. However, human rights issues are not the only hot-button topic that can get a post taken down by Facebook’s admins. Taboo topics also include (taken directly from Facebook’s Help Center):

  • Nudity or other sexually suggestive content
  • Hate speech, credible threats or direct attacks on an individual or group
  • Content that contains self-harm or excessive violence
  • Fake or impostor profiles
  • Spam

Of course, these taboo topics are hardly professional, but remember, it’s Facebook’s algorithm (and sometimes human censors) monitoring posts. The intention of your post is not the determinant of whether it will stay up or not.

Why You Need to Care

Posting to your business’ Facebook page is more than a formality, more than a nod to social media marketing. You need to care about what’s going up on your page for two big reasons:

Getting posts banned on Facebook decreases your visibility

Not only does your post disappear, a history of one or more banned posts can flag your page as one that should not come up in users’ News Feeds.

And, with visibility already a challenge on Facebook, every post counts. While your faithful fans will visit your page directly, you have to pay to get your posts in front of more (new) viewers (e.g., friends of fans and people searching Facebook for something relevant to your business).

Questionable posts cost you

Although not much business is conducted on Facebook, your Facebook page should clearly communicate what your business stands for—its personality and values. Posts with questionable content and/or Facebook invisibility costs you prospective customers.

Investing care in your Facebook presence may begin with carefully selecting who administers your business’ page. Make sure everyone with access to your business’ Facebook account knows:

  • What you stand for
  • How you want to make customers feel when they interact with you on Facebook
  • How to create posts that are consistent with your business’ character

Conduct periodic reviews of your Facebook page to ensure posts are appropriate.

If Facebook content is a challenge to keep up with or keep “clean,” contact for social media management.