Ratings and Review Feature on Law Enforcement Facebook Page

Review ImageI have written a great deal lately about the importance of having a strong Terms of Use for government Facebook pages to help minimize the headaches and potential liability associated with negative comments.  Check out a suggested Terms of Use for a Government Facebook page at www.lesmchief.com/termsofuse

Equally important, but not mentioned often, is the ability for a fan to rate a Facebook page and write a review.  This action must be monitored and addressed appropriately by Government Facebook page administrators or the reputation of the department may suffer.

Facebook provides an opportunity for fans to rate a Facebook page between one star and five stars.  In addition to the star rating, fans can leave a written review.  According to Facebook, the review should focus on the product or service offered by the page and must be based on personal experience.  Those fans leaving reviews must abide by the Community Standards of Facebook.  What does this have to do with a law enforcement Facebook page?  I am glad you asked.

Legitimate Reviews

In most instances, fans post legitimate ratings and reviews on law enforcement Facebook pages.  Some of these experiences are positive and others, unfortunately, may not be so positive.  Legitimate reviews should not be touched. 

Illegitimate Reviews

In some cases, the rating and review may be unfair or even egregious, based entirely on a person’s warped view of law enforcement.  In these cases, an agency must take action to address this behavior.  Only reviews a fan makes public will be visible on the page.

Unfortunately, a law enforcement agency does not have the ability to remove the problematic rating and review themselves.  Facebook controls this entire process.  Fortunately, there are three options to address negative and/or illegitimate reviews.

Comment on the Review

This method is straightforward.  Simply navigate to the review in question and click on comment.  Leave an appropriate comment addressing the specifics of the review.  Obviously, careful thought should be given to whether this is the appropriate strategy.  If a comment is left on the review, make sure it is professional and sticks to the facts.

Report the Review to Facebook

Facebook does not monitor reviews.  However, they do provide a mechanism for reviews that violate the Facebook Community Standards to be reported to Facebook.  To report a review that is in violation, click on the review in question and then the drop down icon in the corner.  Once this is done, click on “I don’t like the review” and follow the on-screen instructions.  If a fan gives a department a bad rating but does not leave a review, there is no ability to comment on it.  Click here for more information about removing a review. 

Turn Reviews Off

Turning reviews off sounds simple enough, but Facebook makes it extremely difficult and convoluted.  I am surprised they have not made this easier to do.  Until recently, you had to click on the about tab, select address edit and click the box at the bottom, which also turned off maps and check-ins to your page.  Recently, reviews disappeared from this box. 

Now, the only way to turn off your reviews is to change the category of your Facebook page.  Click on your About tab and then Page Info.  Near the top of the list is Category.  Click on Edit.  From the top drown down menu, select website/blog.  Under the sub-category, select government.  Save your changes and your reviews will no longer be visible. 

If you want to turn your reviews back on in the future, simply return your Category setting back to where it was and save it.  Unfortunately, all of the old reviews will appear again.  You will not lose any of them, even if you want to. 

Reviews are a great way for your fans to let you know how great of a job your department is doing.  Reviews are also a positive way to receive legitimate feedback on your department’s performance.  Unfortunately, reviews also provide an avenue for haters to tarnish the good name of your department.  Fortunately, there are several options available to address false and unwarranted reviews.

Please follow this link to watch a video about how to remove reviews. 

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