Images within comments.

The possibilities are nearly endless. Entire conversations can now be conducted through pictures. A good meme is, after all, worth at least sixty or so words. Sometimes a thousand. Sometimes, a meme is not even really valued at a complete single word, but it’s content resonates with you on such a essential, primal level, that its worth cannot be measured in an equivalent word count:

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However with such power comes a new challenges for moderation, and this recent addition to the Facebook arsenal is causing new issues for brands that moderate their Pages through tools such as Hootsuite and Sprout.

The problem is thus: when a user posts an image within a comment thread, the content of that image will not appear within the third party  moderation feed.

To demonstrate our point I have made an image post on our sandbox page, if we look at the Hootsuite feed we will see the following:

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 3.27.13 PM

A seemingly harmless post. However, a closer inspection of the Page through the Facebook Platform would reveal the following…

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For the sake of argument, lets take the presence of a blood spattered Patrick Bateman to represent an image that is highly not-safe-for-work, or innocent eyes. The image may exist, but the brand’s team of administrators may not necessarily be privy to it’s existence.

The issue for many brands is that due to typical process structures that involve multiple administrators, the Hootsuite (or similar) moderation feed is all they will be looking at. There’s nothing that will even insinuate the presence of an image, let alone one that is inappropriate.

For larger brands who are technically liable for anything that users post on their page, this can become a serious issue. The only way to really mitigate the problem is to have a member of the administrator team abandon the moderation tool dashboard and give the Page a glance as frequently as the flow of user generated content dictates.

Hopefully, it won’t be long until Facebook rectifies the problem. But until then, the issue poses a minor annoyance to administrator teams. As always, be alert, but not alarmed.

Happy trails

– Matt