What is Facebook Spam?

I’ve often said that ‘spam is in the eye of the receiver”, but for most people it is an unwanted post or email (that is usually business related). Typically it is usually an attempt to generate business or lure people to their website or sales page.

This is becoming more and more common as Facebook continues to be ‘where the people are’.  Where the people are, the marketers will go.  I have NO issue with sharing your business via Facebook AT ALL! In fact, if your business truly serves others, I believe it is a disservice not to.

However, I am very anti-spam.  I do not want spam in my email, my facebook mail, my direct messages, or anywhere else.

The challenge is, that many people think “because we are friends…”

NO, not because we are friends. Because we are friends does not mean that I have any interest in your product or service.  If we are truly friends, I might. But if I want you to post info on my wall, I will ask.

Posting your latest greatest widget or ‘opportunity’ to someone’s wall is not okay in my opinion. It is rude, tacky and a bad reflection on you.

It is also a violation of facebook terms of service, aka “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”

(see #1)

Safety

  1. We do our best to keep Facebook safe, but we cannot guarantee it. We need your help to do that, which includes the following commitments:
    1. You will not send or otherwise post unauthorized commercial communications (such as spam) on Facebook.
    2. You will not collect users’ content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers) without our permission.
    3. You will not engage in unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme, on Facebook.

    (Read in entirety here)

The question that precipitated this post was: ‘what happens if you report spam?'

Reports are investigated by Facebook (according to Facebook) and spammers receive a warning, and in cases of repeated abuse, or serious violations (hate, porn, etc), the violators account is terminated and likely not reinstated.

The question of concern in this case however, was what can happen to the person reporting the user, based on this:

The language of concern being:

“I understand that blatant or repeated invalid reports could result in disciplinary action being taken against my account”  Sadly I guess this language is necessary because there are people out there who will report people just to be mean.

The important language to note is “I believe that the comment I am reporting violates abuse standards of facebook”

I have researched high and low, and without having a ‘friend’ at Facebook headquarters, I have no way to confirm the process that they go through, or how they do things up there. (Feel free to contribute if you do:)

I am no attorney, and don’t play one on TV, or on Facebook, but I do believe that the terms of Facebook are pretty clear, and as long as the post meets the criteria, and you can safely say that you believe it does, then you shouldn’t have a concern.

It clearly states “Blatant or repeated INVALID reports”

I believe that it is important to all of us to maintain the integrity of Facebook by reporting people who abuse it. That is my opinion. It is worth noting that Facebook also recommends blocking the person as well.

Personally, I look at the post and [try to] decide if a human put it there, or a ‘bot’. [if it is in a comment, it is usually a human]. I do believe there is some value in ‘calling them out a bit’ if it is someone that maybe just doesn’t realize that what they are doing is not kosher with you. As in posting a comment like:

‘Good to know. How much are you paying me to advertise on my wall ? :)

But, it is up to you of course. At least other people will see that it is not okay, and perhaps learn from it [which is always my goal:]

Just FYI, here is what Facebook says about reporting abuse:

I encourage you to ONLY report true abuse. There are people who do this just to be nasty, and all I can say is …karma… :)

(I have included the link to the full statement or ‘terms of service’ here, and strongly encourage you to read it. It isn’t that long.)