The Important New Legal Headaches for Australian Small Businesses on Facebook

The Australian Advertising Standards Board has made a very important announcement that has a significant impact on all businesses who are using Facebook as a way to promote.

In particular Facebook Pages, if you are unsure if a Facebook Page is right for you see 10 Reasons a Facebook Page will never work for your business.

 

Here’s 2 important points to be aware of:

  1. Your Page and Status Updates are now classified as Ads by Advertising Standards Board
  2. You must monitor and vet what your fans say on your facebook page

 

The Ruling That Caused It All

Just last month the advertising industry ruled that comments and posts made by “fans” on Smirnoff Vodka’s Facebook Page were ads and that they must be in compliance with industry sel-regulatory codes and consumer protection laws.

In laymans terms what this means is that your company could be sued or get in trouble for misleading or false advertising based on what your customers and fans say about you and your product/service on your facebook page.

Protect Yourself By Turning on Pre-Moderation of Comments

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.

 

The Challenge / Opportunity

Big companies may have the resources and budgets to moderate these comments internally but for the smaller business this will be a challenge of additional time and money overheads, which highlights a new opportunity for a smart entrepreneur and even for facebook themselves to look into further.

 

Further Reading

 

 

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