As schools continue to grow more active on social media, it's important to consider how to handle negative comments on these platforms. On one hand, deleting negative comments can help protect the school's reputation, but there are also potential drawbacks to consider when deleting or hiding comments on Facebook.
The Pros of Deleting Negative Comments
The most obvious pro of deleting negative comments is that it can help protect the school's reputation. If a disgruntled student or parent posts a negative comment, deleting it can help ensure that it doesn't spread and damage the school's reputation. It can also help prevent further negative comments from being posted, as it sends a clear message that the school does not tolerate negative comments.
The Cons of Deleting Negative Comments
One of the biggest cons of deleting negative comments is that it can be seen as censorship. While it's understandable that schools want to protect their reputation, deleting comments can come across as heavy-handed and can make people feel like they are not being heard. It can also give the impression that the school is trying to hide something, which can lead to further negative comments. People have a right to post their opinions, even if those opinions are negative, and deleting comments can be seen as a violation of that right.
Another con is that deleting comments can cause tension between the school and its students or parents. If people feel like their voices are being silenced, they may be less likely to engage with the school in the future.
Most people don't know that on Facebook you can 'hide' unwanted comments from being seen by most people on your feed. You can click 'hide comment' and the comment disappears to most of your audience. However, the real beauty of this tool is that the person who has had their comment hidden is none the wiser. To them, and their friends, the comment still exists. However, to everyone else, the comment has gone. This means that you aren't upsetting members of your community by 'censoring' them, just taking control of your feed.
The problem with this is that it requires someone to monitor these comments to ensure that unsavoury comments are hidden quickly. At MDM, we monitor our schools' feeds to ensure that unwanted comments are deleted as quickly as possible to ensure they are seen by as few people as possible. This means that teachers and school staff can focus on their jobs, without the distraction of monitoring social media. We use our experience to judge whether a comment needs to be ignored, responded to, kept, deleted or hidden and we understand the consequences of each of these actions.
If you'd like to discuss what Mitchell Digital Media Ltd can do you for your school, please don't hesitate to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org // 01249 588 228.