Just a few weeks back I wrote an article on the prevalence of Facebook Spam accounts, and fake Facebook accounts, entering contests to steal your Fans prizes. It’s an issue that Facebook has taken quite seriously. So seriously, in fact, that every day Facebook users are seeing the brunt of the fallout. Recently, ZDNet.com ran an interesting article on the Facebook Spam fallout by featuring Rima Regas and her frustrating experience with the new Facebook Spam attacks.
Automatically Labeled as Spam
Just yesterday, in fact, I noticed something interesting on a client’s Facebook Wall. A comment within one of our photo posts had been deleted, labeled as Spam. I didn’t report the comment, the comment wasn’t out of the ordinary, and so I unblocked it. I began thinking about why this random comment would have been automatically labeled as Spam, and in looking a bit deeper into the Facebook strategy of the Spammed user I realized that Facebook was keeping a close leash on him.
As a member of a prominent networking organization, the person in question was literally making hundreds of comments on hundreds of Facebook Pages every day. I contacted him about the fact that Facebook was ‘watching’ him, and he was dumbfounded, having no idea he was being labeled as a Spammer. His FB marketing was so aggressive that Facebook automatically assumed that he was running unethical practices, spamming other Facebook pages without their consent. When, in fact, this was the part of a larger strategy that everyone he connected with is a part of.
(See ZDNet.com’s article http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-censors-members-after-unjustly-labeling-them-spammers/12926)
With that said, let’s take a look at the ZDNet.com article where Rima Regis was automatically labeled as a spammer as a direct result of her marketing strategies on Facebook and was suspended for a week. Here is the notification she was given:
“As we notified you earlier, commenting on walls of users you are not friends with is temporarily suspended for you. Our systems noticed your comments were being marked as spam or posted multiple times.”
Now, let’s also take into consideration that ZDNet.com did not mention in the article what Rima was publishing in her comments, whether she was simply running a copy-and-paste campaign on random Facebook Pages, and how many comments she was leaving per day. These are all very important aspects of this puzzle and could explain why Rima got punished.
According to the ZDNet.com article, many ethical and everyday Facebook users are getting blocked and labeled as Spam due to a ‘false positive caused by an automatic spam filter.’ Because you can now interact with Facebook Business Pages that you aren’t a Fan of, and you can interact with Personal Pages that you aren’t Friends with but you are Subscribed to, this issue will continually come up.
How To Avoid Being Labeled As Spam
While I applaud Facebook for stepping up their attempts to reign in those Spam accounts, the fact remains that there will be many, many accounts caught in the crossfire. However, there seems to be one simple way to avoid becoming labeled as a spammer…a simple element that even Facebook has mentioned in its warning above; become Friends or Like every single Page that you comment on.
“…commenting on walls of users you are not friends with is temporarily suspended for you…”
There seems to be a clue in this Facebook warning; do not comment on pages that you do not follow…plain and simple.