(KCBS) – Facebook has stopped letting pharmaceutical companies disable the comment section on its site.

This was just about the only industry that had the ability to disable comments.

CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley said this was quite an unusual agreement since social networking and censorship are anathema to each other.

With social networking, users are commenting on other users’ comments and “it may become an echo chamber,” Cooley said, “but it’s still the idea of free speech.”

The Facebook profile page for a company looks a little different from a personal one. It includes sponsorship and advertisements. So when they had negative comments about some of their drugs, the pharmaceutical companies didn’t like that so they would disable that feature, Cooley described. So Facebook finally stepped in and removed this ability.

He also added that this fear of public comment just made the companies look bad.

You can hear his Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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