When you want to compliment the restaurant you ate at last night for their “done-just-right” chicken livers, chances are you’re going to turn to Facebook and post a note on their wall. Same thing is bound to happen when you want to bitch at Greyhound for sitting you next to the toilet on the New York to Los Angeles “See America by Bus” trip.
Businesses are recognizing that the first place people turn to anymore to compliment, complain, question or ramble is one of the many social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and forums. Those companies who take social media seriously are putting people in charge of monitoring the different outlets and responding to customers in a timely manner with as much information as possible.
If you have a Facebook page for your business, you know how important it is to interact with your customers, field their questions, provide them with reasons to come back and keep the sales pitches to a minimum. After all, according to Wikipedia, social media is defined as “technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities, and individuals.”
But what happens when government steps in and doesn’t allow that “interactive dialogue?”
Before you say, “this is America, that will never happen,” hang on to your gotchies.
While doing my morning Facebook check, I found the following post from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, “CLT is owned and operated by the City of Charlotte. In order to comply with the City of Charlotte’s social media policy, all comments made on the CLT Facebook page will be deleted.”
One of my Facebook followers and fellow frequent fliers, Bruce Kane, saw the post and looked up this “social media policy” and lo and behold, right there on City of Charlotte letterhead it was:
“…social media will not be engaged in a manner that allows members of the public to post comments on or through the social media vehicle. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the City’s use of social media may invite or solicit citizen input and comment to the City in a non-publicly posted manner.”
If you’re flying through CLT and want to tell other visitors that the bagel joint near gate 33 has the best whitefish salad, too bad. Go somewhere else. Want to thank the airport for staffing the rest rooms with attendants who hand you a towel, offer a shot of Listerine and wish you a pleasant flight? Sorry, you can’t do it.
I’d tell you to go over to the airports Facebook page and complain about their policy, but your complaint will be deleted. However, you’re more than welcome to email the airport your comments at YouAreFirst@cltairport.com and feel free to include the word “censorship” a few times. Government people hate that word.
I can see deleting comments that are in poor taste, include hurtful remarks, contain incorrect information, are defamatory or just plain out of line, but deleting all comments is just downright crazy.
What do you think?