Facebook pre-moderation of user posts

March 21, 2012
Posted by: Jenna Woodul

Facebook has provided a way for brands to review Posts users make to their Pages before releasing them to be published. It’s important to understand two things about this feature:
1)    It applies only to user-initiated Posts; it does not apply to Comments users make in response to a brand Post. Comments cannot be pre-moderated.
2)    Brands already have the option to completely disallow user Posts; but no way exists to disallow Comments (except for certain pharma brands).

How it works

Assuming you allow your fans to initiate Posts on your Page, when they do so, the post doesn’t publish on your Timeline. Instead, it appears in your Activity Log on the Admin Panel. From there, you can make the post visible once you’ve reviewed it.

How to enable it

In your Facebook Admin Panel, go to Manage > Edit Page > Manage Permissions. You’ll find a check-box labeled, “Only show Posts by [Brand Name] and friend activity on your Page until reviewed by an Admin.”

Where to find posts

The Posts from fans show up in the Activity Log (Admin Panel > Manage > Use Activity Log). Once you designate them for visibility, they’re published immediately. Note that, although the LiveWorld moderation tool collects these fan posts, allowing moderators to approve or remove them, the Activity Log workflow is currently the only way to make the posts visible on the page (until the tool is integrated via the API).

When to use it

Generally, LiveWorld considers it a best practice to allow users to make posts on your Page. It’s friendly, it indicates your interest in what they have to say, and it doesn’t imply that you want to hear from them only when you ask for responses from them. In most cases, we’d also recommend that you avoid pre-moderation. That’s because people find it annoying when their posts don’t show up immediately. In social situations among friends, it would be unthinkable to delay a friend’s contribution until it was reviewed by someone first.
However, in some cases, it may be wise for a brand to consider pre-moderating posts:

  • Highly regulated industries: If your brand has to comply with specific rules, and certain kinds of content might jeopardize your standing with governing agencies, you’re already carefully moderating your comments. Because a Post has more prominence on your board than a Comment, compliance considerations may make it wiser for your brand to pre-moderate. However, you need to make sure you check the queue often so as not to irritate people with the delay. Outline your policy in your user guidelines, noting the reason for it.
  • Crisis situations: If your brand is facing a very large volume of user complaint or ire because of a company policy or issue, or if you’re frankly just under attack, it may make sense to pre-moderate Posts for a while. Be sure you’re responding to users on the issues they’re bringing forward, however. And keep in mind that you’re still likely to be deluged with Comments, especially if Posts aren’t appearing — and pre-moderation could even throw more fuel on the fire.
  • Sensitive topics: If your brand or product deals with very sensitive topics, or if you frequently have to deal with users who make fun of or denigrate your product or company, it may be wise to pre-moderate Posts, understanding you’ll still need to watch Comments.
  • Spam: If you’re dealing with a big spam episode, go ahead and pre-moderate for a while until you get it under control.