The royals are calling out abusive, threatening, and discriminatory comments on their official accounts.

The royal family this week announced social media guidelines for how online users should interact with its official accounts run by Royal Family, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace.

It’s a big step for the Royals who have only embraced social media in the last few years.

It’s a move after Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton were seen to be receiving abusive, threatening, and discriminatory comments on their official accounts.

The rules say comments on the royals’ posts must not be spam, defamatory, abusive, threatening, or sexually explicit, and cannot promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or age.

All make sense – so what can we take from their new guidelines that other brands can embrace?

With more social networks taking a stance on spam, hate speech and discrimination is it the place of brands to also enforce their own rules? Well, why not. It’s your platform – it’s your space, and just like if it was your physical shop, there’s certain things you wouldn’t put up with.

Last week, two high-profile far-right figures were kicked off social media for spreading hate.

Jacob Wohl, an internet hoaxer and conservative conspiracy theorist, was banned from Twitter for setting up fake account, while Tommy Robinson, founder of the far-right English Defence League, was banned from Facebook and Instagram for breaking hate speech rules.

Facebook said in a Tuesday blog post that people and organizations involved in “organized hate” or who support it aren’t allowed on the platform.

So as a brand, is it time to step up and also police your own platforms better?

I’ve worked with some, what you may call ‘toxic’ brands over the years, where sentiment shift has been one of the biggest drivers of our social content.

Now, I’m not taking about a Fyre Fest strategy of ‘deleting any hate’… Feedback is always good, and responding to feedback however negative professionally can often gain more respect from users, but the guidelines make for some good reading. Especially if you’re opening up the conversation to communicate with your followers.

However, if you are seeing an uplift in negativity, think about ways to enforce a more positive conversation. Is it that your questions are being posed too broad, or maybe letting users hijack them too easily?

Posting your own guidelines lets everyone know where they stand – whether that be followers, customers, or fans could really help your brand on social media.

What do you think of the Royal’s step to make their social pages safer and a more positive place to be? Let me know in the comments below…