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How Meredith's Social Media Team Handles Backlash

A phone with the Meredith College social media pulled up on the screen
Photo by Elinor Shelp-Peck

On Sept. 15, Meredith College announced that it would be requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students and employees starting in the spring semester. This posting sparked both relief and outrage on Instagram with many Meredith students, parents and alumnae all rushing to the comment section to let their opinions on the matter be heard. However, the comments on the post were later turned off with no explanation as to why. The Meredith Herald interviewed Meredith College’s News Director, Melyssa Allen, to get more insight into this decision as well as other decisions the social media team makes when representing the College.

According to Allen,“Social media is one of the tools Meredith College uses to share information with its audiences. When the College makes an announcement like the vaccine requirement, social media is used to supplement other communication methods, including emails and posting on the Meredith website, because we know that no single communication method reaches every person who needs that information.” It was important to get the vaccine requirement information out in a way that would reach all members of the Meredith community in a timely and effective manner, she said. The information shared in the post was released around the same time the announcement email was sent to students and employees.

In regards to comments being disabled, Allen stated, “Comments were allowed on the posts about the vaccination requirement from the time it was posted at 11 a.m. until after 7:30 p.m. Comments were turned off on Instagram and Facebook that evening because the posts could no longer be actively monitored by staff and because there were comments that included misinformation or that were combative toward other commenters which went against the social media content policy.” Allen said that Meredith College welcomes comments on their social media pages as long as these comments follow Meredith College’s Social Media Content Policy.

Meredith’s Marketing Department uses social media to inform by sharing Meredith news, events, recruitment information and other useful content. According to Allen, “Whether a post topic is controversial is a matter of opinion, so again, our focus is on posting information that is important for our students and employees to know.”

Find more information on Meredith’s social media policies here.

By Rachel Van Horne, Associate Editor


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