Buzzfeed spoke of social media expert, Ryan Shelley’s evidence in the landmark Facebook comment defamation case before the NSW Supreme Court.
The first witness was a man who well and truly knows how Facebook works: Ryan Shelley, a social media consultant who wrote an expert report for Voller’s case about comment monitoring on Facebook pages.
After preparing an expert report for the trial, Ryan was called to give evidence as an expert witness before the NSW Supreme Court on 8 February 2019.
Ryan’s evidence was on the technicalities of managing and monitoring social media. In particular, he provided evidence on the ability for administrators and managers of Facebook pages to monitor and moderate comments.
Ryan Shelley told the court that on public business pages you cannot turn off the comment function. But, he added, you can deploy a “hack” that effectively does the same thing.
Ryan’s hack involves putting the most commonly used words in the English language (“a”, “the”, etc) on a filter list. This causes any comment containing those words to be automatically hidden from the public.
Only the commenter, their Facebook friends and the person running the page would be able to see the comment. As a result, the hack hides a large number of comments, which managers can unhide as appropriate, Ryan Shelley explained.
Read more about Ryan’s role in this case on Buzzfeed.
Ryan Shelley is available for expert social media commentary on all things digital marketing. Please contact Ryan via the Contact page.