How Not To Handle Your Social Media – A Lesson from SIU

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Commentary, Free Speech, News
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

http://bit51.com/2011/11/how-not-to-handle-your-social-media-a-lesson-from-siu/

Just a quick post today on how not to handle your social media presence.

As some of you may know Southern Illinois University Carbondale is involved in a labor issue that has resulted in an environment with some very heavy emotions. Wednesday night, November 2nd, the University took the position of initially banning all comments on its social media sites that were in contradiction to the administration’s stance on the issues. In the beginning it was said to be in response to inflammatory or otherwise hurtful comments however it quickly escalated first to all comments in opposition of the administration’s view point and later all comments whether pro-administration of pro-faculty.

Regardless of the legality of their position, SIU finds itself in a rather precarious situation. It has stopped not only benign comments on this issue, but also all comments on one of its more popular social venues. This move has angered individuals on both sides of the current labor as well as parents, students, staff, and alumni who simply wish to ask questions or otherwise interact with SIU in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

Censoring your community, even on sensitive issues, is not the way to handle your social media. Removing threatening or otherwise harmful posts is one thing but to silence discussion is an entirely different subject. Should you ever find yourself in such a situation with your online brand learn from this mistake. As long as the discussion is civil don’t silence it. Instead rely on intelligent replies to point out facts and work to repair the underlying problems. Censoring your community not only does nothing to solve the root issue, but serves to anger what, in this case, is an already disenfranchised community.

About Chris Wiegman

Chris is the owner of Bit51.com and runs the websites for SIUC Aviation and others. He has more than 15 years experience developing solutions for individuals, business, and education.

Follow Chris on Twitter or find him on LinkedIn

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