Recently the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) ruled that business Facebook pages were an advertisement, and that brands needed to take responsibility for the comments posted by members of the public such as misleading or inappropriate content. Social media pages are now considered to fall under the category of advertising, and the rules and regulations that apply to advertising content extends to user-generated content.
This is causing some concern amongst businesses who are already actively using Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategies. There are wide reaching implications to businesses that aren’t actively monitoring Facebook comments, or don’t allocate resources to active moderation of content.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now clarified that large companies using Facebook will need to remove misleading or inappropriate comments within 24 hours. This guideline applies to large businesses, while there will apparently be more time allowed for smaller businesses.
Regardless of the size of business, the changing rules are something that businesses need to consider. Whether social media is managed in-house or outsourced to external providers, the risk to business needs to be understood. Creation of clear policies and agreements on what constitutes misleading or inappropriate content, and decisions on how to manage this has just become even more important for business.