Brands Risk Alienating Users By Allowing Offensive Comments On Sites

by Stratton Craig

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Brands that allow spammy or offensive comments to be published on their websites or on their social media pages may be putting off users who are searching for meaningful conversations and answers to their questions, marketing experts say.
In order to deal with the issue, brands should implement policies for moderated comments so that conditions for civil conversations are provided, claims the eConsultancy blog.
The importance of setting certain standards for user-generated content is even greater when it comes to publishers. It is not uncommon for respected publishers, such as the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal, to use content marketing services that serve links to sponsored content. But this can provoke offensive comments to be published under articles, which can undermine a publisher´s reputation.
One possible way to address the problem is to ask users to use their real names when they publish a comment. While this could reduce the amount of hate comments posted, it could also discourage posts from users who want to defend an unpopular position but would not do so if their anonymity is taken away. Statistically, hate speech and spammy comments are less frequent on social sites that require users´ real names, such as on LinkedIn and Google+.
Some publishers hire human moderators to approve posts before they appear on the website. Others delete offensive, obscene or spammy posts after they have been published. Whatever the method, brands should make sure that they keep their website or social media page free of disrespectful comments to keep their reputation intact.

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