March 31, 2013

Blog Hops & Facebook (have you read Facebook’s terms)?

I heard some alarming news on one of my blogging networks last week.  A blogger had posted they participated in a blog hop and after leaving a message on someone’s Facebook timeline asking for a follow back and/or to like their page, their Facebook account was suspended for thirty days!  To be fair, I do not know this person, nor am I familiar with their Facebook activity, so I can not be sure of the actual reason for suspension.  However, for the sake of this post, let’s explore the possibility that it was related to their timeline post.

It’s a bit frightening especially for those of us that have Facebook Fan Pages and use them as a means to market our blog sites.  And as an active blog hop participant and co-host who has, in the past, left similar posts to people’s timelines had me shaking in my slippers.  I don’t know about you, but I think blog hops are a great tool for finding new blogs to follow, increase your own following and media exposure.  With that said, there was no way I was giving it up.  And since it wasn’t an option, it got me thinking.  How could blog hoppers be more discreet in terms of letting the Facebook Fan Pages they are visiting know they have been there and ‘liked’ their page?  I don’t believe private messages are even an option on Fan Pages.  Should we, as participants, leave comments on blog websites instead?  It may take a little extra time but, considering the alternative (to have your Facebook privileges revoked), it may be worth it.

I would have preferred to contact Facebook directly to share with them the scenario of this one bloggers experience to see if and why their account was suspended assuming this was even the reason for the suspension but I could not find a contact email address or phone number to save my life! 

Instead, it prompted a review of Facebook’s terms

Facebook Screen Shot2

If you are a member of Facebook, have you read their terms or are you like 99% of the population (which includes me) and just checked the little box that read ‘I agree to the terms’ and moved on?  C’mon, we are all guilty of it.  Perhaps this blogger, unknowingly, did not comply to the terms?  And I’m NOT suggesting this blogger did not read the terms.  My point is that even if they did (even if we all did), were they understood?  In my opinion, terms in general (for services, products, etc.) can be VERY confusing.  Each person reading them may interpret them differently. 

In my review, and while not understanding the various jargon entirely, I did find the following terms (highlighted in gray and copied straight from Facebook) I thought may have some relation to this blogger’s revocation. 

You will not engage in unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme, on Facebook.

Since I wasn’t familiar with the multi-level marketing term, I looked it up on Wikipedia and found this:
Network marketing and Multi-level marketing have been described by author Dominique Xardel as being synonymous, and as methods of direct selling. According to Xardel, direct selling and network marketing refer to the distribution system, while the term "multi-level marketing" describes the compensation plan. Other terms that are sometimes used to describe multi-level marketing include "word-of-mouth marketing", "interactive distribution", and "relationship marketing". Critics have argued that the use of different terms and "buzzwords" is an effort to distinguish multi-level marketing from illegal Ponzi schemes, chain letters, and consumer fraud scams. Some sources classify multi-level marketing as a form of direct selling rather than being direct selling.

Could leaving posts on fan pages to follow back or like your page be considered “word of mouth marketing” or “relationship marketing”?

You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.

Would a blog hop be considered a promotion?  They are intended to promote a blogger’s website.

Phishing and Spam

We take the safety of our members seriously and work to prevent attempts to compromise their privacy or security. We also ask that you respect our members by not contacting them for commercial purposes without their consent.

Is Facebook confusing us with spammers?  Do they not realize that we are members ourselves?

Other, unrelated but, interesting terms/guidelines/FAQs:

You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.

I used to publish blog post urls to my personal page’s timeline before I created a Facebook Fan Page.  Would that be considered commercial gain even though I am not making a tangible profit (such as money)?

Vanity URLS
You are allowed to refer to and promote your Facebook vanity url so long as:

  1. Your vanity URL links to your Facebook page and nowhere else.
  2. Facebook should be in the same font size and style as the other content.

Guidelines

  1. When referenced in text, Facebook should be capitalized.
  2. When inviting users to like your Page, say 'like our Page' or 'become a fan by clicking Like on our Page'. Do not invite them to 'friend' your Page - users can only become friends with other users.

FAQs

Can I combine Facebook’s trademarks or logos with new terms or artwork to create my own marks and logos?

No. Mutilating Facebook’s logos or trademarks in order to create new, derivative marks can harm Facebook’s trademark rights. We cannot allow such modifications to our marks under any circumstances.

I know people that design social media icons for websites.  It’s done all the time.  You can even find them on sites like Photobucket for free!  Have these people gotten permission?  I sure hope so, ‘cause I use them on this site!

Can I modify the design of the “f” logo so that it better fits with the structure of my website?

You may scale the size to suit your needs, but you may not modify the “f” logo in any other way without entering into a written licensing agreement with Facebook and obtaining Facebook’s prior written approval.

I think most websites that contain social networking icons/buttons are edited versions of original logos. 

On an ending note, blog hoppers participate with caution.  Have fun, make new friends, increase your following and media exposure but BE DISCREET

Before I leave you, have you checked out my previous post on 4 Customizable Photo Bookmarks to Print?  If you like freebies, than you’ll definitely want to check it out!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Holiday and I hope you’ll come back to visit during the week to see some of my Easter pictures!

- Until tomorrow

miscellany monday at lowercase letters
 




 
 

27 comments :

  1. Thank you for this interesting article, I actually hopped over from Mom's Monday Mingle! I am new to blog hops and link parties, but love them, and have found so many wonderful blogs through them.
    I post many pics on my personal page and have been unable to upload pics twice now for 2-3 days each time, I had my suspicions that I had tripped a Facebook spam wire or something, but have been unable to find out if other's have had this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GREAT post! Pinning it to my ULTIMATE Blogger's Toolkit board RIGHT NOW! XO, ellie @ creative geekery

    {http://pinterest.com/creativegeekery/the-ultimate-bloggers-toolkit}

    ReplyDelete
  3. They make things so very confusing.

    Thanks for stopping by A Madison Mom and "following me" all over the internet. I'm jumping around to your links now.
    :)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your header!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well I'm not on FB so this effects me a bit differently. I have always been a bit irked by the companies that work with bloggers who only allow a FB "Like" in order to enter to win whatever the giveaway is. I would assume they are in violation according to what you are saying here. I have always been unable to enter any of these things or participate in certain promotions because of my choice to not be on FB. I keep thinking back to certain photogs that offer exclusive freebies for FB fans when they click that "like" button. This is a slippery slope for how a lot of things have been promoted using FB. Will be interesting to see how it changes things.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post and Definitely something to think about!
    Last week I stopped posting a comment on the fan pages that I like because of the "crackdowns" that's been happening. I have also stopped having giveaways on my blog that require someone to like a facebook page since that violates Facebooks rules.

    Have a great week!
    Angie at http://snackcupsandsmiles.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for the tips! I really appreciate it! Now following you on Pinterest! Thank you for stopping by and following me on my blog. Blessings to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello! I've followed you back via Bloglovin. Thank you for following and stopping by my blog :)

    Fiona @ www.dolly-dowsie.blogspot.ie

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh jeez - Facebook has all these rules in place and I am guilty of not paying attention to any of them LOL. I post links to my own posts on my fan page, but that's about it, so I hope I'm in the clear.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You just cannot win with Facebook it seems. Thank you for the information.

    Lori
    Whoneedsacape.com
    Not Your Average Super Moms!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very interesting about fb. Look forward to checking out your bookmarks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a great post and very informative. Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have to say.. Every blogger need to know about this. Sometimes we don't read the policies and terms and we can get in trouble for a little thing. Thanks so muhc for sharing this information! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree with Lori.. You just can't seem to win with them.. By the wording it really makes me wonder if using Facebook with giveaways is actually ok or not. Thanks for the info!

    And thanks for following The Thriftiness Miss as well.. I'm following back via gfc, bloglovin, and Facebook.. Have an awesome day!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, I'm following the "friends connect" blog hop. I would love for you to visit my blog and follow if you like it.

    http://sincerelymesydney.blogspot.com/

    thanks

    new follower {Sydney}

    ReplyDelete
  15. Whoa...this is way to confusing...I wish everybody would quit using them so they would learn their lesson on controlling their customers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The TOS for Facebook are confusing. I try to be super careful to avoid being suspended. I didn't leave any messages asking for like backs because that is risky. I just visited blogs and liked quietly hoping they would know I came from the hop. I do rely on my blog more than Facebook for community.

    ReplyDelete
  17. hmmm.... facebook is making things super tricky for bloggers. thanks for sharing this... will be passing it along!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is a really interesting post! I had something similar happen to me several weeks ago with facebook. They thought I was spam. I had just started a facebook personal page and had only a couple of friends, but my facebook blog page was getting a lot of likes from a blog hop. They blocked me and I had to either confirm with a cell phone or send them a picture of my license or passport in order to unlock my account. It was all quite the disaster, and honestly, I much prefer twitter and pinterest over facebook. But, as every blogger knows, you need to have access to all social media! I now try and be very selective with my commenting and messaging.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glad I read this I had no idea. Geez I have just been lucky. With all the ooo-la-la on Facebook how could they do this? Well being a paralegal I will try not to break any terms. Very interesting and thank you so much for the research and sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am thankful. Now what about facebook frenzy?

      Delete
  20. How interesting! I had no idea, either. Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for posting this! I had no idea...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great info. Maybe we should just like the pages and leave our facebook fan page url and comment what we like about their pages. That is the way I am doing it. I am not asking anyone to follow me back but they do anyway. A lot of people who follow me back "love my cat."

    https://www.facebook.com/marykatbpcsc

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow. What a great article and I had NO idea! Facebook used to be such a great tool for businesses but now it seems like they've overtaken everything... kind of like the government! lol!

    ReplyDelete
  24. When I visit pages I usually tell them where I am visiting from and how I found them and sometimes if I especially liked something on their blog, I might mention that too. I don't ask if they'll follow me back, although some do. There are a lot of confusing things in the Facebook rules as well as things that could be interpreted in a number of ways. Err on the side of caution, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very interesting read... Worried me a little, but at least I'm aware of things! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...