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.
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)?
You are allowed to refer to and promote your Facebook vanity url so long as:
- Your vanity URL links to your Facebook page and nowhere else.
- Facebook should be in the same font size and style as the other content.
- When referenced in text, Facebook should be capitalized.
- 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.
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