Friday, April 27, 2012

Banning on Facebook: It’s Just an X, Right?

X marks the spot. Well, perhaps if you’re digging for gold. With Facebook, however, it’s another story, especially when it comes to banning someone from your page.

Personally, I don’t like the thought of it. It’s a very negative thing to do. On the other hand, the purpose is to get rid of that negativity that’s causing conflict on your page.

It’s the story…of a lovely lady…

Actually, no.

Meet Karen, former fan of Groovy Reflections (my “other” biz). The page currently has 4,573 fans and 1,113 are “talking about this”. It’s a page that has lots of participation.

But Karen does not participate. She never “likes” a post, nor does she comment. About six months ago, she suddenly started sharing posts from the page to other pages or groups, stripping off the sourcing of where she took the post from. Here's an example:

This is the original post on Groovy Reflections.

And here is what Karen posted on another page:

Is this stealing or sharing? The majority of the posts were music videos from YouTube (like the example), however, a few were original photographs that I uploaded to the site. No, I didn't watermark them (have now started doing that).

When this started six months ago, we tried to smoke her out by asking her to comment. She didn't respond. Plan B. I joined a group she was in and contacted the owner about her. He didn’t care. So I commented right on one of her “posts”. She commented back and was, softly speaking, unreasonable. Her language was colorful. 
I responded in a civil tone. She again responded in a similar fashion as previously implying that I didn’t “own” anything.

Then, POOF! The entire post was gone. And wham! Karen blocked me. She did stop sharing posts on Groovy Reflections. At least, until a few days ago.

I couldn’t easily ban her from the site. WHY? Because to ban someone they have to either be a recent fan so that you can find them in the fan list or they have to comment on the page. One of my admins graciously scanned back in time in an attempt to find her and found her commenting in October 2011.

But I, personally, couldn’t ban her. I couldn’t see her, since she blocked my profile. So an admin did the honors. And since then, after all the time we’ve spent, I’ve learned just exactly what banning does. The user can...
  • ...still see all your posts since they are public, however, they can’t like or comment on them.
  • ...still “like” your page, and your posts will be in their news feed.
  • ...share your posts.

Conclusion: It is useless and a waste of energy to ban someone from your page in a situation such as this one. It means nothing. It does nothing. Karen can still take whatever she wants from the page.

Facebook, I ask you: Why even have banning then? It serves no purpose in this case though it somewhat useful for removing spammers (they’ll be back with a new account eventually though). Why not include “another level” of “banishment” where they can’t see your page at all so that is truly “permanently banning”? Call it “eliminating” since that is putting an end to something. This would make it final. Done.

At the top of my wish list: More control over pages please, Facebook.

X doesn’t mark the spot.

This is X for the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Here’s V and W. More MODern Marketing can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. And now, what could be more fitting than a tune from the Los Angeles band X?


Guy Sharwood said...

I had a friend request a while back from somebody I don't know. I will make exceptions for potential friends who have at least one or two mutual friends. This individual didn't. There was nothing in the person's profile to indicate that we knew each other or even had any mutual interests (yeah, I'll make exceptions under those conditions, too).

So finally I clicked "Not Now" and was asked if I wanted to ban or block them. At first I was going to, but I didn't want them getting in any real trouble, because for a week I was banned for a week from friending anyone. Long story there, but I didn't wish anything bad on this person, simply because it isn't somebody I really know.

Gerry Wendel said...

Guy, I get requests to be friends on Facebook from folks I don't know often. Sometimes I click ignore. Other times I write to them and ask them why they want to be friends with me. Some respond; some don't. Some are friends of friends; some aren't. I take each case individually. And I do not block them.