Monday, August 22, 2011
Eat This! Facebook’s Outlook on Spam.
I heard from the first aggravated fan via message while on vacation. He stated that he had heard from Facebook and that they were no longer allowing him to make ANY posts on the page. He further stated that Facebook told him that his posts were reported as spam by Groovy Reflections! And he was very hurt by this.
A quick check with my admins revealed that no one had reported anything. But here’s an explanation about what happened. It’s a case of “those annoying algorithms.”
Fans post on the page. A lot. Some get a little carried away and will post fresh posts at a rapid rate, sometimes as much as one every two minutes, up to four or five posts. Many of those get tossed into an area called “hidden posts”, not by us, but by Facebook. We usually pull those out so that anyone visiting the page can see them.
Let me also point out that the majority of the “spam” posted on Groovy Reflections is music videos. Yep. No cussing. No political opinions. No pointing fingers. Just sunshiny, happy stuff. As happy as a hot breakfast platter at Denny’s.
When the rise of multiple posting first began, I posted on the page many times suggesting that fans post no more than once per hour, taking a guess at how Facebook may be judging their behavior. I also created a “policies” page on my website, and alerted fans to review the policies. The topic of spam is among several subjects covered in guidelines listed there.
Some fans were not happy by the guidelines. One fan continued posting frequently often stating “I can’t help it; just one more post.” Her passion and enthusiasm were rewarded: She is another one of our biggest fans that’s now banned for fifteen days.
Two recent articles, click here and here, approach this issue and demonstrate how disastrous Facebook’s computer algorithms truly can be. While my page’s main objective is to reminisce and put a smile on someone’s face, pages that have more somber, serious tones can potentially suffer far greater. For instance, if it IS a site where posts tend to be more opinionated, the fan’s first thought is that they are being censored. And that’s probably going to cause the fan to leave the page and never come back!
Not good! So how DO we resolve this?
Facebook, instead of helping us LOSE some of our biggest fans, why not let us, as owners of pages, have control and final say over what is spam on our pages and what is not? Let US set the criteria. Every page is different, including the demographics, the amount of traffic on the page, the flow of discussions, and the subject matter. So perhaps a general definition for who is spamming and who isn’t just doesn’t work? One size does not fit all. Take us to the cafeteria and let us select how we would like our eggs, if we want grits or hash browns, and how well done the spam should be.