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Check your Facebook Page before it is deleted: rule breakdown

Facebook has some surprisingly specific and strict guidelines when it comes to having a Facebook Page, and any violation can lead to permanent deletion of your Page without warning. You should definitely be aware of all of these rules, and that the company can delete your Page “for any reason,” they say.

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Facebook Page owners should be aware

While it is important to read all Terms of Service when using any website, we all know the reality is that people rarely do, but as a business, it is important to pay attention, particularly when it comes to Facebook Pages, because you can open your page one day and the entire thing has been shut down, just ask Hell Pizza in New Zealand.

“We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason,” Facebook says, and they are extremely serious. Without warning, your brand’s Facebook Page could be eliminated – content, fans, and all. There are ways to properly use Facebook Pages, and there are ways to get your Page completely removed from the face of the Facebook planet. Let’s talk about both.

Your Facebook Page cover photo

It seems like a good idea to use your cover photo the same way you would a roadside billboard, right? Wrong. You may not use your cover photo as an ad. Period. Here is what Facebook has banned from appearing in any cover photo, and any infraction may result in complete elimination of your Facebook Page forever (not to be dramatic, but in most cases, appeals fall on deaf ears, say our sources):

  1. No calls to action. You can’t say “get yours now” or “tell a friend” or anything like that in your cover photo.
  2. No contact information. You can’t list your website, phone number, email, address, or anything that Facebook believes should be in your “About” section.”
  3. No purchase information. You can’t say “40% off,” or “$99 special,” or “get yours now on our site.”
  4. No references to Facebook features or actions. You can’t tell people to “like” or “share” or put an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
  5. No images you do not own or have the right to use. Also, no deception or misleading visitors.
  6. No encouraging users to upload your cover image to their personal timeline.

Promotions on your Facebook Page

Promotions have always been tricky on Facebook because it is in their best interest to charge you for ad space and promotions, so they are extremely strict and unforgiving, which is why most brands are forced into using sweepstakes apps through Facebook.

The company disallows all of the following not only within a promotion on Facebook, but in advertising your promotion or referencing your promotion elsewhere:

  1. You cannot run any sort of competition, promotion, or sweepstakes on your Facebook Page using Facebook’s features and functionality. You can use one of the apps on Facebook to do it, but you cannot tell anyone to “like/share this update/photo/video for a chance to win,” or “the 1,000th fan wins,” or “photo with the most likes wins,” or even “add a comment to enter.”
  2. You cannot hold Facebook responsible, so you are required to include a disclaimer releasing Facebook from any liability (like “This contest is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook”), so you can include it in the terms of service of your app or your own website.
  3. You cannot collect information without disclosing who receives the information, making sure to note that Facebook is not collecting the data.
  4. You cannot use Facebook features as part of any promotion or participation other than liking your Page, checking in, or connecting to your app. You cannot automatically register any entrant based on a Facebook action (liking, checking in, etc.).
  5. You cannot notify winners through Facebook. You may not use a Facebook message, chat, a post on their wall or your Page, or anywhere on Facebook.

Your Facebook Page name

Facebook has restrictions on what you can and cannot name your Facebook Page and how it is formatted:

  1. Your Page name must match your company name.
  2. You cannot use generic terms and name your Page just “beer,” rather it must be “South Tennessee Hops Beer.”
  3. Your Page name cannot be in all capital letters unless your brand’s name is an acronym.
  4. You cannot use character symbols in the name of your Page, even trademark symbols, bullet points, or excessive punctuation.

The full terms

Click to visit the Facebook terms, or read below, the most recent Terms of Service as of publication of this story. Facebook is quite serious about these rules, and removal of a Page does not come with warning, is not usually restored, and is often brought to Facebook’s attention through someone flagging a page for Facebook’s review.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Trindy

    May 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Great reminder to anyone using FB for business purposes.

    We all get a little lazy when it comes to reading terms of service, that’s something we can’t afford to do as a business entity.

    I’d hate for all that hard work to go up in smoke!

    Thanks for the reminder and highlighting some important aspects of the TOS.

  2. Sheila McPhie Rasak

    May 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I demand a repost next week after my computer recovers from a virus attack. According to Best Buy’s Microsoft Movie maker got hacked. xo

  3. Nick Johnson

    May 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    We should all be aware of any potential changes. I think this is a little over-the-top though 🙂

  4. kaflamESQ

    June 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    @katemhamilton That IS sneaky! Thanks for the heads up!

    • katemhamilton

      June 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      @kaflamESQ Yep, but kind of cool too!

      • kaflamESQ

        June 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        @katemhamilton Agreed…more opportunities for getting someone to click..

        • katemhamilton

          June 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

          @kaflamESQ nice place for the person’s title to appear too, which is good if you use FB for professional reasons. (aka me) 🙂

  5. thehouseofpyne

    June 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    @katemhamilton That’s crazy! Thanx for the heads up!

    • katemhamilton

      June 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      @thehouseofpyne you bet lady!

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Social Media

Instagram makes IGTV videos more accessible with automatic closed captions

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature for Instagram opens avenues for viewers who don’t or can’t use audio on IGTV videos, creating more accessibility for all.

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Instagram live being recorded will now feature auto captions.

In an effort to expand accessibility efforts, IGTV videos on Instagram will now include an auto captions option. While its parent company, Facebook, has included auto captions on uploaded videos since 2017, this new-for-Instagram feature is expected to widen audience viewership and increase potential viewing by those who prefer watching sans-audio.

In a statement by Facebook, the company states: “While there is no shortage of information, not everyone can access it. It needs to be available to the hundreds of millions of people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.”

Current events have made the need for auto captions even more critical for inclusion. “The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in both the supply and demand of public health information. Several local and state governments, that were accustomed to holding live press conferences but didn’t have the resources, staff or technology to record, stream, and caption their live events, turned to Facebook Live. Several governments also discovered that video captioning was not just a nice-to-have, but imperative, especially in the absence of available sign language interpreters,” states the company.

Currently, Facebook provides auto captions for videos in 16 languages and has announced that Instagram’s IGTV will have access to the same features. The caption accuracy is determined by the video’s audio quality, although AI technology is constantly improving in both precision and speed.

Additionally, branded content ads are likely to see an increase in consumer interaction. Recently published data by Facebook shows ads visually designed for watching with the sound off have 48% more relevance to viewers and a 42% higher purchase intent. As auto captions normalize across social media, users can expect ad content to utilize this feature to the fullest.

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New tool organizes your Reddit feed (and makes it actually usable)

(Social Media) Reddit’s UI hasn’t always been super intuitive. ‘Deck for Reddit’ organizes your feed into themed columns, making it way more user-friendly.

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Deck for Reddit on display on laptop on desk.

Love it or hate it, the mass collection of forums on Reddit have some form of content for everyone. The simple UX design places content straight down the middle of the screen and the infinite scrolling feature allows you to view a limitless amount of content from cute puppy images to cringe-worthy videos. However, its simplicity isn’t very practical, and is something that I think should be voted down.

Yes, Reddit has come a long way from its previous text-heavy form, but there is still a lot to improve on. Charles Yang, a frustrated Reddit user, has created a web app that could change all that: Deck for Reddit, a desktop optimized, alternative way to browse your favorite forums.

“I built it to show as much content as possible at a glance, while respecting your screen real-estate,” writes Yang.

Currently, the web app is in open beta. With a very similar experience to Tweetdeck, this Reddit tool seems to hold some promise.

On the far left side of the website, there is a list of icons with all the subreddits you’ve subscribed to. Clicking on an icon will take you directly to that subreddit column. This is very convenient for users with a bunch of subscriptions. Additionally, by making several subreddits visible on the screen all at once, Yang succeeds in his goal of taking advantage of the vast empty white space that Reddit failed to use.

From this display, you can click on a post, and it instantly expands to show all the comments. Hit the back button, and the post collapses. Now, you are back to seeing all the posts related to that subreddit. And at the top of each subreddit, you can easily sort the content by what’s new, popular, and trendy. Engagement has never felt easier.

Along with everything else, this extension also adds another great feature in setting customizations. The theme can be switched from light to dark mode. Fonts, text size, and even the shape of the subreddit icons can all be adjusted. Preferences can be changed to hide viewed submissions and reduce animation motion. And if you’re slacking off at work or want to chill, you can set it to hide NSFW content.

Overall, Deck for Reddit makes the user experience smooth sailing, and it truly makes Reddit the “front page of the internet.”

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Instagram now lets you create and share fundraisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) If you’ve been wanting to start a fundraiser for something you care about, Instagram’s new feature lets you do just that. Go check it out!

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Instagram Fundraiser

Instagram announced last week that it has launched a test for a Personal Fundraiser tool on its platform. The feature will allow users to start their own fundraiser if it complies with guidelines or choose an existing cause to support. The launch began in some US, UK, and Ireland markets and is available on Android and iOS.

In its announcement, the company confirmed that since January, more than $100 million has been raised for COVID-19 across Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), citing that donations on Instagram have doubled in the US in the past 30 days. The announcement said, “from people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

Personal Fundraisers are short-term and meant to serve time-sensitive causes, with the initial duration lasting 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days. Users must be 18 to create a fundraiser and have a designated bank account in which funds can be deposited. Donations will be processed through Facebook Pay, which also powers Instagram’s new shopping features. The platform covers fees for non-profits, but not for Personal Fundraisers. Donors can choose to keep their information hidden from the public, but organizers will be able to see user names and donation amounts.

To start a Personal Fundraiser, users with access to the feature can tap “Edit Profile”, “Add Fundraiser”, followed by “Raise Money”. They can then choose a photo, select the fundraiser category, and write out a story to encourage donations. When approved, users will be able to raise funds.

Instagram says it will expand the number of users who have access to this feature in the months ahead, as well as give users access to share fundraisers both in their Feed and within Stories. Fundraising features already offered by the company include Donation Stickers for Stories and a Live Donations feature for live streams.

This feature is similar to the fundraising feature already available on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

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