Facebook Page Commenting Changes

Posted by: in Social Media Insights & Trends on April 13, 2011

Within the next couple of weeks, Facebook will be announcing changes to how their Facebook Pages work, specifically when it comes to commenting. Currently, Page administrators have the ability to disable comments to Wall posts, photos, and videos. Certain companies have taken advantage of this, since they work in highly regulated industries and would find it difficult to deal with open comments from the Facebook community.

Two industries in particular — pharmaceutical and financial services — are regulated by various government entities that mandate the ways in which they must deal with information from the general public. Those “charged” topics can include: financial advice, stock recommendations, adverse (drug) events, off-label use of drugs, etc. In the world of pharma, for example, when these topics are discovered online, it is incumbent upon the drug maker to report that to the FDA (based on certain criteria). On a pharmaceutical company’s Facebook Page, they lock down that conversation by disabling commenting on the Page’s Wall posts, photos, and videos.

Facebook will be changing their policy when it comes to disabling comments. At some point, possibly as early as mid-June, Facebook will be opening up comments on all pharma Pages with the exceptions of:

  • Pages that promote, talk about, or support prescription drugs or devices
  • Pages that focus on a disease state where there is only one prescribed treatment (even if the Page doesn’t mention the treatment)
  • Disease-state/therapeutic area Pages that have the PI/ISI on the Page

This means that corporate Pages, general disease awareness Pages, and unbranded campaign Pages will have their comments re-enabled for their Walls, photos, and videos. Other details of this change are detailed in the below presentation.

By: Matthew Snodgrass

Group Director of Digital Strategy at NextWorks, partner of The W2O Group.

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