Social Crisis Management – Nothing is Ever "Accidentally" Deleted

23 Jul
July 23, 2012

Channel 7 is under fire today for deleting the comment from their Facebook page of a mother whose grief was exploited for ratings. Now, lack of morals aside, a different part of the story during the crisis response today was that the comments were deleted as an error.

In a similar situation a couple of weeks ago, Paspaley Pearls “inadvertently” removed comments from their page after a negative story on Four Corners.

In both cases, and many other social crisis missteps before it, the business in questions claim the deletion was accidental, or an error.

Let me shed some light on something:

Accidental deletion is not possible unless you accidentally do it multiple times through a process.

See the picture above? This is the third step in the comment deletion process on Facebook – first you have to click on the “X”, then the delete or report button and then the delete button.

So next time you face a social crisis – first of all follow the rule of Do Not Delete. If you do want to reserve the right to delete, make sure you have very clear community guidelines around what is acceptable and what isn’t.

But if you do decide to delete and you get called on it, never claim it was inadvertent. Own up to the fact that you deleted it, and refer to your public guidelines if necessary.

But don’t claim it was a mistake. Because it can’t be.

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