How to Delete a Negative Facebook Review About Your Business Featured Image

How to Delete a Negative Facebook Review About Your Business

As a business owner, discovering a scathing one-star review on your Facebook page can be incredibly stressful and frustrating, especially if you feel it’s unfair or unwarranted. Facebook reviews are often one of the first things potential customers see when searching for your business, and even a single negative review can color their impression and impact their decision to engage with your brand.

But while you can’t wave a magic wand and make bad Facebook reviews disappear, you’re not powerless. There are concrete steps you can take to remove reviews that cross the line, respond professionally to valid criticism, and generate more positive reviews to outshine the occasional unhappy customer. In this guide, we’ll walk you through exactly how to do that.

Can You Delete Reviews On Your Facebook Business Page?

No, business page owners cannot delete Facebook reviews directly. However, you can report reviews that violate Facebook’s Community Standards or are defamatory to request removal by Facebook. Reportable offenses include spam, harassment, hate speech, inappropriate content, policy violations, and false statements of fact.

To report a review:

  • Click the three dots in the top right of the review
  • Select “Find Support or Report Recommendation”
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the report

If a review is found to be defamatory by a court of law, you can submit a court order to Facebook for the review’s removal. An experienced internet defamation attorney can assist you in obtaining this court order and compelling Facebook to take down the offending review.

If a non-defamatory review doesn’t violate Facebook’s standards, you can respond publicly or privately or disable reviews entirely via Page Settings. However, this removes all existing and new reviews.

Why You Can’t Delete Facebook Reviews Yourself

Facebook’s policy prevents business page owners from removing reviews directly, whether they are positive, negative, or defamatory. This helps preserve the authenticity and integrity of reviews while protecting Facebook from legal liability for the content of user-generated posts.

While it may be disappointing that you can’t simply delete a review you feel is unfair or false, Facebook’s stance makes sense. If businesses could pick and choose which reviews to keep, the whole review system would be much less trustworthy and useful for consumers. Reviews are meant to be an honest reflection of real customer experiences, not just a highlight reel that businesses curate.

Like most online platforms, Facebook is protected from liability for defamatory reviews by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This means you can’t sue Facebook for defamation in user-generated content. Your legal recourse is to go after the individual poster.

As frustrating as this may be when you’re on the receiving end of a bad review, it’s ultimately better for everyone. Consumers can put more stock in reviews when they know businesses can’t manipulate them. And businesses that consistently deliver great experiences will still shine based on their overall review profile.

So, while you can’t unilaterally erase negative or even defamatory reviews from your page, you have options for dealing with them. Reportable violations and court-ordered removals can address reviews that cross legal lines. For other negative feedback, thoughtful and professional responses can showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction and improvement. We’ll cover these approaches in more detail in the following sections.

When to Report a Facebook Review vs. Respond to It

For the majority of negative reviews that express authentic customer experiences or opinions, even if you disagree with them, the better approach is to respond thoughtfully and professionally. Reviews where customers share honest feedback, no matter how critical, serve an important purpose for your business. They highlight areas where you may need to improve and give you the chance to show customers that you hear their concerns and care about making things right.

If a negative review doesn’t include these clear policy violations, your efforts are better spent crafting a gracious response. Here are some tips for responding to critical reviews in a way that shows your business in a positive light:

  • Thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their feedback
  • Acknowledge their frustration or disappointment, even if you feel it’s not fully warranted
  • Avoid arguing or getting defensive about their claims
  • Take responsibility where appropriate and express your commitment to improvement
  • Highlight any relevant context that helps explain the situation (in a respectful, non-combative way)
  • Provide contact information and invite them to discuss the issue further offline

For example, if a customer writes a 1-star review complaining about a long wait time or rude service, you could respond with something like:

“Hi [Name], thank you for alerting us to this issue. We always strive to provide prompt, friendly service, so we’re very sorry your experience didn’t reflect that. We’d like to learn more about what happened so we can address it with our team. Please reach out to our manager at [email], and we’ll work to make this right. We appreciate you giving us the chance to improve.”

This kind of response shows other customers that you’re attentive, accountable, and eager to provide outstanding service. It can turn a negative review into a net positive for your reputation.

Dealing with Defamatory Facebook Reviews

While most negative reviews are expressions of authentic customer experiences and opinions, some cross the line into defamation territory. A defamatory review is one that contains objectively false statements presented as fact, which can seriously damage a business’s reputation and financial well-being.

It’s important to distinguish defamation from honest critical feedback. A review is not considered defamatory if it’s based on a real customer interaction, even if you disagree with the customer’s opinion or perception of events. Defamation requires the reviewer to make demonstrably false claims, such as accusing your business of illegal activity, unethical conduct, or other misconduct that never actually occurred.

Some examples of potentially defamatory Facebook reviews include:

  • Falsely accusing your employees of harassment, discrimination, or other unlawful behavior
  • Claiming that your business knowingly sells defective or dangerous products
  • Alleging that your business engages in fraudulent billing or financial practices
  • Stating that your business violated health codes, safety regulations, or other laws (when it hasn’t)
  • Accusing your business of being a scam or intentionally ripping off customers

If your business is targeted by this kind of malicious false review on Facebook, simply reporting it for a community standards violation will likely be insufficient. Facebook is generally not liable for defamatory content posted by third parties and has no obligation to remove even blatantly false reviews.

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How to Report a Facebook Review for Removal

Facebook will remove reviews that violate its Community Standards. The key is knowing what qualifies as a violation and how to report it properly.

Facebook’s Community Standards prohibit all sorts of inappropriate and abusive content, including:

  • Spam and fake reviews
  • Harassment, threats, and hate speech
  • Graphic violence and adult content
  • Illegal activities like selling drugs or weapons
  • Invasion of privacy, like sharing someone’s personal information
  • Misinformation and deceptive claims

So if a review contains profanity, makes a personal attack, discloses private details, or in any other way violates these standards, you can and should report it.

The process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Find the review on your business page
  2. Click the three dots in the top right corner of the review
  3. Select “Find Support or Report Recommendation”
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to select the reason for reporting and submit

Remember that reporting a review doesn’t guarantee it will be removed. Facebook’s team evaluates all reports to determine whether there was indeed a violation of standards.

What to Expect After Reporting a Facebook Review

So, you’ve identified a review that contains harassment, hate speech, personal information, or other prohibited content and submitted a report to Facebook. Now what?

  • First, it’s important to understand that reporting a review doesn’t automatically remove it from your page. All reports are evaluated by Facebook’s team to determine whether the content actually violates their Community Standards. Depending on the specifics of the case and how busy their queue is, this process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few business days.
  • Facebook, unfortunately, doesn’t provide an estimated timeline or ongoing updates about reported reviews. However, you will be notified once they’ve made a decision, typically via a Support Inbox message on Facebook.
  • If Facebook’s moderators agree that the review violates their standards, they’ll remove it from your page entirely. To your customers and anyone else who visits your page, it will be as if the review never existed. Unfortunately, you won’t be provided with more details about why the decision was made.
  • If Facebook decides not to take down the review, but you still feel it contains abusive content, you can submit an appeal to have the case reviewed a second time. However, the decision on the appeal is final, so if the review is found not to be in violation a second time, you’ll have exhausted this avenue.
  • If Facebook determines the review doesn’t violate its policies, even if you feel it’s unfair or contains misinformation, it will remain published on your page. You’ll have to pursue other options for dealing with it, such as responding publicly or contacting the customer privately to resolve their complaint.

How to Disable Reviews on Your Facebook Business Page

If your business is receiving an overwhelming volume of inappropriate or fake negative reviews that aren’t being successfully addressed by reporting, or if you simply don’t have the bandwidth to monitor and respond to reviews on an ongoing basis, you may want to consider disabling the reviews feature on your Facebook page altogether, at least temporarily.

Disabling reviews means the existing reviews on your page will no longer be visible to the public, and customers won’t be able to post new reviews. It effectively hides your review section from your page.

Here’s how to turn off reviews on your Facebook business page:

  • From your business page, click “Settings” in the top right corner
  • In the left-hand menu, click “Templates and Tabs”
  • Scroll down to the section labeled “Tabs” and find “Reviews”
  • Click “Settings” next to the Reviews tab
  • Toggle the slider next to “Show Reviews” to the off-position
  • Click “Save” to confirm the change
  • Once you’ve completed these steps, reviews will no longer appear on your page, and the “Reviews” tab will disappear. If a customer visits your page and tries to leave a review, they’ll get an error message saying that reviews aren’t currently available.

Before you take this step, it’s important to consider the potential downsides of disabling reviews. Reviews, especially positive ones, are valuable social proof that can help convince new customers to choose your business. A CompTIA study found that 93% of customers read reviews before purchasing, so not having any reviews at all may hurt your credibility and competitiveness.

Reviews are also a key ranking factor in local search results. Facebook business pages with an active review section rank higher in search than those without. So, disabling reviews may make it harder for customers to discover your business when they search on Facebook.

Finally, turning off reviews sends a negative signal to customers. It may give the impression that you don’t value feedback or aren’t confident in your ability to provide positive experiences. Some customers may assume that you turned off reviews because you were getting too many bad ones, even if that’s not the case.

Disabling reviews should generally be a last resort or temporary measure, not a permanent strategy. You may choose to turn reviews off until you can control an influx of spam or until you have the resources to manage legitimate negative reviews actively. But in most cases, it’s better to leave reviews and deal with critical feedback through reporting and thoughtful responses.

Proactive Strategies for Improving Your Facebook Reviews

As important as handling negative reviews on Facebook appropriately, it’s even better to proactively cultivate more positive reviews that enhance your brand reputation and inspire trust in prospective customers. The best way to minimize the impact of the occasional 1-star review is to have dozens of glowing 5-star reviews surrounding it.

Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

Of course, the foundation of a great review profile is consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences that motivate people to sing your praises online. No amount of review-generation tactics can make up for subpar service or shoddy products. However, even businesses that routinely delight customers can benefit from deploying smart strategies to encourage more of those happy customers to share their opinions on Facebook.

Invite Your Best Customers to Leave Reviews

The most effective approach is personally inviting your best customers to write a Facebook review. Train your staff to identify customers who seem especially satisfied with their experience and ask them to provide feedback on your page. You can even give them a direct link to make leaving a review easy.

Incentivize Reviews

Some businesses incentivize reviews by offering discounts, freebies, or contest entries to customers who write them. You’ll want to be cautious with this approach, as it can run afoul of Facebook’s policies if not done carefully. Never offer rewards for positive reviews specifically, as it’s considered a form of coercion. Instead, encourage customers to share their honest feedback and provide the incentive regardless of whether their review is positive or negative.

Utilize Different Communication Methods for Your Review Requests

You can also use email, text messages, or social media to ask customers for reviews. Timing these requests shortly after a purchase or service is complete when the experience is still fresh in their mind tends to get the best results. Whichever method you choose, the key is to be consistent and make providing feedback as quick and convenient as possible for your customers.

By combining these proactive strategies with effective handling of negative reviews, you can turn your Facebook review section into a powerful asset for your business that continually attracts new customers and reinforces loyalty among existing ones.

We Can Help You Protect Your Business’s Reputation on Facebook

In today’s digital age, online reviews are one of the most influential factors in a customer’s decision to engage with a business. Facebook, with its massive user base and prominent review system, has become a key battleground for shaping brand reputations. Whether legitimate or fraudulent, negative reviews on this platform can severely undermine a business’s growth and success if not handled properly.

If your business struggles with negative or defamatory Facebook reviews, the experienced internet defamation attorneys at Minc Law are here to help. We have extensive experience with Facebook and other online review sites and know how to quickly and effectively remove false and defamatory content to protect your hard-earned reputation.

Don’t let fake or negative reviews damage your business without a fight. Reach out today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced defamation attorneys. We’ll discuss the details of your situation and explain how we can help you achieve a swift and successful resolution. Your reputation is your most valuable asset – let us help you protect it.

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This page has been peer-reviewed, fact-checked, and edited by qualified attorneys to ensure substantive accuracy and coverage.

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