FARMINGTON — A Facebook post from K.B. Dillon's restaurant and bar that used derogatory language to describe African Americans and gay people upset many of its followers over the weekend, though the business maintains that the post was actually a disgruntled former employee's.

In a message Sunday, black and gay people were told to "stay away" from the business, though profane terms were used.

"We do not want you here," the post read.

K.B. Dillon's removed the post by Monday morning, which was Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, though the statement had garnered three likes and 125 comments just two hours after being put up the night before.

The business did not address the post on its web page, but instead thanked followers for the unusually high number of "likes" that it had received Monday morning.

Late Monday morning, K.B. Dillon's closed down the web page.

"Our account got hijacked," said Jane Singer, general manager at K.B. Dillon's. "We're working to fix it."

Some people commented on the page before the business shut it down, asking why it had not yet addressed the offensive comment from the day before.

"The professional thing to do would be to apologize," said Kendrick Bennett, a local who heard about the post through an email. "I'm sure they offended half the community."

Singer did not want to elaborate on what steps K.B. Dillon's was taking to fix the problem, and she was not sure whether the incident would affect business.

"I have no idea," Singer said.


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Though uncommon, such incidents are not unheard of as social media becomes an increasingly popular form of advertisement for businesses.

And as it becomes more popular, more caution also is required, said Craig Randall, director of social and digital strategy at Verde PR and Consulting in Durango.

Randall suggested all businesses using social media follow certain protocol to protect themselves against employees who may try to abuse the business's social media platforms:

*Periodically monitor the content your employees are sharing on your behalf to ensure consistency, voice, and appropriateness.

*If an employee is let go or quits, their administrative rights should be immediately revoked from all social properties, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc.

*If credentials from a single site are shared with employees and the employee leaves or gets fired, change the password(s) immediately.

*Make sure the email address you use to sign up for these social platforms is from the business owner or trusted manager. This prevents an employee who might one day leave, from being the sole owner of that particular page and owning the ability to change the email or password in perpetuity.

The response to the hacking can be as critical as the act itself, according to Pat Parkinson, Public Relations Director of PRMarketing.com, based in West Jordan, Utah.

"Anything that is in some way not fully transparent ... think twice," Parkinson said, noting that K.B. Dillon's likely would have been better off keeping its Facebook site up and responding appropriately.

If dealt with in a professional manner, a negative situation can turn positive by the character that a business shows in its response. To not respond at all, however, puts the business in a defensive position, Parkinson said.

"Social media is very new to everyone," Parkinson said. "Businesses just wading into social media are going to hesitate and not know how to react. Shutting down their social media? That's not going to quiet the critics."

A business would be better to be honest, explain the situation, apologize if necessary and rely on its supporters to come to its defense, Parkinson said.