I’m reliably informed by our friends at Conversocial that it’s now possible for Facebook users to turn off access to their data, with the result that their posts can’t be picked up by third party Facebook management tools which otherwise have access to Facebook API.
It’s not a well-advertised privacy setting: a Facebook user would have to dig a little via Privacy settings>Apps, games and websites>Apps you use until they find this checkbox:
… which doesn’t mention any relationship with Facebook Pages.
If a user make a post of a comment on a Facebook page, it won’t get sent through to the third party tool, resulting in missed content. This has a doubly unfortunately effect: spam or inappropriate content remains unmoderated, and the person who posted a question or complaint thinks that they are being ignored by the brand. Really bad news for community managers and moderators of busy Facebook pages who have to rely on management tools in order to effectively queue, triage, consult and report on moderation and management actions.
There is some solace in that, if your Facebook page has more than 100k fans, there will be a new option available in your settings called “Only people who let apps and websites connect to them on Facebook can post to your timeline”.
If this applies to you, we recommend you turn it on – although as yet we’re not sure of the messaging which a user will receive from Facebook if an attempt to post fails. Hopefully they will be told they need to turn off that privacy setting in order to make a post rather than simple hitting a blank wall. Ideally, brands would be able to customise the message to explain why this is, to avoid antagonising their fans: maybe it’s an idea to post something about this in your Page Guidelines?
Whilst I can fully appreciate the convenience and important privacy protection implications of being able to turn off third party access to data with just one click – in fact I applaud it – yet again, it would seem that Facebook haven’t quite thought the consequences of this one through.