As the Daily Mail rightly reports the ‘fury as child abuse picture goes viral on Facebook with 16,000 ‘shares’ and 4,000 ‘likes”, we still see too little focus on strong moderation as a brand protection solution. Whilst it’s the most extreme forms of pornography which continue to make headlines, unregulated spam content of many kinds can be damaging to brands.
Content can be robot – or automatically – generated in large volumes and it can be posted any time 24/7, often impacting Facebook pages outside of a normal working day. The liking of content by users can directly link this material to a brand’s Facebook page. Whilst not endorsed by the brand, its appearance can have a very negative impact on their online community.
Too often, lawyers within major brands advise that proactive moderation leads to an unacceptable exposure to UGC legal responsibility. The result is that brand-damaging content sits on their brand pages driving significantly higher damage than that resulting from the moderation risk. This is equivalent to sponsoring an event that allows pornographers to display explicit images alongside your prized brand collateral. Furthermore, your lawyers are advising you that having the pornographers removed is an unacceptable legal risk even though that makes no sense.
Our own Crisp research indicates that the non-removal and viewing of such material can reduce brand purchasing by up to 39%.
So how can a brand mitigate its risk?
- Introduce a User Generated Content (UGC) strategy which manages brand related content on Facebook and on other susceptible social media channels. Many brands spend considerable resource developing a consistent messaging only for this to be damaged by inappropriate content.
- Implement a 24/7 moderation system to remove inappropriate material when it appears on your social media pages. This should be accurate, flexible and, ideally, have an escalation process to highlight an issue to your brand teams.
A strong moderation strategy is now essential for effective brand management and a proactive approach is the only answer for those who both value their social channels and take a common sense approach to the potential risks.