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Facebook group admins will now see “auto-reported by Facebook”

Last month, quietly and without fanfare, Facebook began using an algorithm to automatically report suspicious content within a group.



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Snitches get stitches

If you use Facebook, and especially if you administrate a Facebook Group, you are probably well aware that users can flag one another’s posts for inappropriate or offensive content. When a member of a group flags someone else’s post, the post is sent to the group administrator, who then assesses the post and decides whether or not it needs to be removed.

Pretty simple, right? But last month, quietly and without fanfare, Facebook began using an algorithm to automatically report suspicious content before it gets published. If you administrate a Group, you may have already received posts “auto-reported by Facebook,” with the option to publish the post or delete it, as well as the option to block the group member who made the offending post. Facebook’s watchdog robot automatically detects inappropriate content, such as pornography, then reports it to group administrators.


Still in need of some tuning

At this time, it appears that the auto-reporting robot only works on Groups and not on the site in general or on Pages — but that could change. Some administrators are celebrating the new innovation, saying it will save them lots of time moderating, since they won’t have to go hunting for offensive posts., who reported the change on their site after receiving auto-reported posts for their Facebook Group, says that auto-reporting is “definitely well needed in Facebook Groups and is a time-saver.”

Others, however, complain that the auto-report feature actually wastes their time, because Facebook often reports posts that are actually completely acceptable. After receiving many questions and complaints, Facebook added an explanation of the feature to their Help page, and also attempted to fine tune the algorithm.

Facebook still has the right to remove content

Facebook says that if administrators continue to approve similar auto-reported posts, the robot will eventually learn not to flag such posts. However, any posts approved by administrators must still comply with Facebook’s Community Standards, and the company retains the right to remove offensive content, even if group administrators approved it.

Note from the Editor: We’ve seen several “auto-reported by Facebook” posts in various groups we have on Facebook, but many aren’t NSFW, they’re more in line with posts we’ve deleted from members reporting to us as admins in the past. It is our belief that the algorithm is smarter than just “oh, that’s porn,” and based more on the administrators’ history of deleted and/or reported posts. This feature could save us a lot of time in our rowdier and heavily populated groups.

What about your Facebook Group? Have you received any auto-reported posts? Has it saved you time, or is it a nuisance?


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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  1. FB Tutorial

    May 11, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    We hope more media outlets cover Facebook’s new auto reporting in Groups, while also highlighting the pros and cons associated with it.


    • Lani Rosales

      May 12, 2016 at 9:43 am

      You guys were the first, and it appears we’re the only others. We’re baffled as to why this has gone completely overlooked. It speaks to Facebook’s shift toward automation, and as you noted, we MUST examine whether that is positive or negative.

      • FB Tutorial

        May 17, 2016 at 4:53 pm

        @Lani — you are absolutely correct on the fact that (major) media outlets are not really reporting this new automated policing by Facebook, especially the new controversial robot in groups.

        With Facebook being at the forefront of “artificial intelligence”, it is our opinion that many tasks on Facebook will soon be automated. We’ll keep reporting our discoveries, so do check our website often for updates.

        Cheers, team


    May 17, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I am an Admin for several groups. We are having major problems with auto-report not allowing even face photos. When i try to approve an auto-reported photo it never does. Example a girl in modest shorts and top has been auto-reported to me . I try to approve over and over and still dont post. Wish we could TURN OFF AUTO REPORT UNTIL IT WORKS CORRECTLY

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  4. Christina

    August 23, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I’m an administrator of a buy/sell type group. I keep getting notifications of posts that have been auto reported and they are far from offensive or innapropriate. One was someone selling a tv stand just a few minutes ago… it’s really annoying and there is no explanation as to what about the posts was are against the rules…

  5. Tamara

    September 8, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve just started having this show up in one of the buy and sell groups I admin, but so far, it seems to be a real pain. It’s reported two, an ad for a local window and door company, and just today, an sale post for a car. Neither of which go against the group rules. I think this is just another example of facebroke screwing things up, instead of fixing what should be fixed.

  6. Brynn

    October 4, 2016 at 1:38 am

    I admin a group and while I haven’t seen any auto reports at all, I mostly post in the group and find it annoying that any event I make the pictures seem to go missing or I cannot invite people to the event unless they are my personal friend. Which is hard to come by in a group I admin that other people have added their own friends. I think it’s another way for Facebook to have their hands in everything. Not a help at all.

  7. Daniel

    December 6, 2016 at 12:30 am

    I think this Auto-reported is waste of time for admins Im admin of my own group and everyday something gets reported and it dumb. Us admin should be able to run are own group the way we want not have babysitter to watch us other fail Facebook thanks

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Social Media

MeWe – the social network for your inner Ron Swanson

MeWe, a new social media site, seems to offer everything Facebook does and more, but with privacy as a foundation of its business model. Said MeWe user Melissa F., “It’s about time someone figured out that privacy and social media can go hand in hand.”



mute social media

Let’s face it: Facebook is kind of creepy. Between facial recognition technology, demanding your real name, and mining your accounts for data, social media is becoming increasingly invasive. Users have looked for alternatives to mainstream social media that genuinely value privacy, but the alternatives to Facebook have been lackluster.

MeWe is poised to change all of that, if it can muster up a network strong enough to compete with Facebook. On paper, the new social media site seems to offer everything Facebook does and more, but with privacy as a foundation of its business model. Said MeWe user Melissa F., “It’s about time someone figured out that privacy and social media can go hand in hand.”

MeWe prioritizes privacy in every aspect of the site, and in fact, users are protected by a “Privacy Bill of Rights.” MeWe does not track, mine, or share your data, and does not use facial recognition software or cookies. (In fact, you can take a survey on MeWe to estimate how many cookies are currently tracking you – apparently I have 18 cookies spying on me!)

ron swanson

You don’t have to share that “as of [DATE] my content belongs to me” status anymore.

Everything you post on MeWe belongs to you – the site does not try to claim ownership over your content – and you can download your profile in its entirety at any time. MeWe doesn’t even pester you with advertising. Instead of making money by selling your data (hence the hashtag #Not4Sale) or advertising, the site plans to profit by offering additional paid services, like extra data and bonus apps.

So what does MeWe do? Everything Facebook does, and more. You can share photos and videos, send messages or live chat. You can also attach voice messages to any of your posts, photos, or videos, and you can create Snapchat-like disappearing content.

You can also sync your profile to stash content in your personal storage cloud. Everything you post is protected, and you can fine-tune the permission controls so that you can decide exactly who gets to see your content and who doesn’t – “no creepy stalkers or strangers.”

MeWe is available for Android, iOS, desktops, and tablets.

This story was originally published in January 2016, but the social network suddenly appears to be gaining traction.

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Social Media

How to spot if your SEO, PPC, social media marketing service provider is a con-artist

(BUSINESS) When hiring a professional, did you know there are actual questions you can ask to spot a con-artist? Too often, we trust our guts and go with the gregarious person, but too much is on the line to keep doing that with your business.




In this day and age the cult of positive thinking and “the law of attraction” are still very much alive and well in the business services industry. Here are a few simple questions that you can ask prospective business service providers to help you gauge if they are the real deal or just caught up in the fad of “say yes to everything,” or “outsource everything” being populated online by countless “thought leaders” and cult gurus.

Lots of people will ask, “What’s the harm of people trying to make something of themselves?”

Well, I’m here to tell you there is a huge harm in taking risks with a client’s money and manipulating people into trusting their “expertise” when they have none.

Business owners: Due diligence is more important than ever these days.

There are whole communities of people helping to prop each-other up as experts in fields they know nothing about while outsourcing their tasks with little or no oversight into the actual work being done on your behalf.

It is nearly impossible for you to tell if this is even going on. Don’t worry. I am here to help you avoid a con-artist.

How? By showing you how to weed out the bad actors by asking really simple questions.

This set of questions is perfect for people who need to distinguish if the expert they are talking is really just an expert in bullshit with a likeable personality.

Why do these questions work? Because people who are into this kind of stuff are rarely hesitant to talk about it when you ask them direct questions. They believe that what they are doing is a good thing and so they are more open to sharing this information with you because they think by you by asking that you are also into similar things.

It is a fun little trick I picked up while learning to do consumer polling and political surveying.

The Questions:

  • Who influences you professionally?
  • Do you follow any “thought leaders” “gurus” or coaches? If so, who?
  • What “school” of thought do you ascribe to in your profession, and where do you learn what you know?
  • Are there any industry standards you do not agree with?
  • How do you apply the services you offer to your own company?
  • Can you please tell me the background of your support staff and can I see their CV’s?
  • Do you outsource or white label any of the work your company does?
  • May we audit your process before buying your services?
  • May we discuss your proposed strategies with others in your industry to ensure quality?
  • Would you be open to speaking with an independent consultant that is knowledgeable about your industry about your proposals?
  • Can you show me examples of your past successful jobs?
  • Do you have any industry accepted certifications and how many hours of study do you do in a year to keep your knowledge up-to-date and current?
  • How many clients have you had in the past?
  • How many clients do you have currently?
  • How many clients are you able to handle at one time?
  • How many other clients do you have that are in the same industry as my company?
  • How long is your onboarding process before we start getting down to actually making changes to help solve the issues my company is facing?
  • Can you explain to me the steps you will take to identify my company’s needs?
  • Have you ever taken a course in NLP or any other similar course of study?
  • Have you ever been a part of a Multi-Level Marketing company?
  • Fun. Right? Well, we aren’t done.

    It is not just enough to ask these questions… you have to pay attention to the answers, as well as the WAY they are answering questions.

    And you also have to RESEARCH the company after you get your answers to make sure they ring true.

    You cannot keep accepting people at face value, not when the risk is to your business, employees, and clients. There is little to no risk for a person who is being dishonest about their capabilities and skill sets. They will walk away with your money, ready to go find another target for a chance meeting that seems amazingly perfect.

    Do not leave your business decisions to chance encounters at networking events. Research before saying yes.

    No matter how likeable or appealing the person you are speaking with is.

    How do you research? Easy. THE INTERNET. Look at the website of the company you are considering working with.

    • Does it look professional? (do not use your website as a standard for professional unless you have had it done by a professional)
    • Can you see a list of their past clients?
    • Do they effectively tell their story as a company or are they just selling?
    • What do their social media profiles look like? Do they have many followers? Are they updated regularly?
    • Do they have any positive reviews on social sites? (Yelp, Facebook, Linkedin, etc)

    You can also do some simple things like running SEO Website Checkers on their websites. There are tons of these online for free and they will give you a pretty good indicator of if they are using best practices on their websites – you can even do this research on their clients’ websites.

    Also, if you know anything about SpyFu, you can run their website through that to see how they are doing their own online marketing (the same can be said for their clients if they are selling this service).

    Facebook also has a cool section that shows you ads that a Page is running. You can find this info connected to their business Page as well as the Pages they manage for their clients as well. None of these things automatically disqualify a potential service provider, but their answers the question of “why” things are the way there are might be very illuminating to you as a business owner.

    This may seem like a lot of work, and it can be if you do not do these things regularly and have them down to a system, but the cost of not doing these things is way too high. A con-artist is born every day, thanks to the internet.

    You have a right as a business owner considering services from a vendor to ask these questions.

    They also have the responsibility as a service provider to answer these questions in a professional manner. Sometimes the way in which they answer the questions is far more important than the actual answer.

    If all of this seems too overwhelming for you to handle, that is okay.

    • You can ask one of your staff in your company to take on this role and responsibility.
    • You can hire someone to come in and help you with these decisions (and you can ask them all the same questions as above before taking their services).
    • You can reach out to other business owners in your network to see if they have recommendations for someone who could help you with things.
    • Heck, you can even call up companies that look like they are doing as well as you want to be doing online and ask them who they are using for their services. Try successful companies in other industries as your competitor won’t likely be interested in sharing their secrets with you…

    What is important is that you are asking questions, researching, and ultimately making sure that you are doing as much as possible to ensure making the best decision for your company.

    Final thoughts:

    “But, Jay, what’s wrong with taking a risk on an up-and-comer?”

    The answer to that is NOTHING. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance on someone. Someone being green doesn’t make them a con-artist.

    The issue I am raising is in the honest portrayal of businesses and their capabilities. It is about honesty.

    I am a huge fan of working with people who are new and passionate about an industry. But I only work with people who are honest with me about who they are, what they can do, and how their processes work.

    I have worked with tons of people who are still learning on the job. It can be quite educational for a business owner as well.

    Just make sure they are being honest about everything up front. You are no obligated to give anyone a chance when it comes to your businesses success, and it’s not right that someone might manipulate you into doing so.

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Social Media

Facebook struggles to regulate itself (but better – regulators are salivating for their chance)

(MEDIA SPOTLIGHT) Facebook is being called to the carpet by another nation’s regulators, and if they can’t put users first, the weight of international regulations could destroy all that they’ve built.




Regulations are likely headed Facebook’s way unless the company embraces change. Facebook erroneously (and we believe purposely) calls themselves as a tech company rather than a media company to skirt federal and international regulations. After an inquiry with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Facebook countered that people instead of regulators should have the power to decide what’s seen on their news feed.

Is this true?

The Facebook news feed is constructed through the company’s algorithms, catering to ad content and suggested posts. In its response to the ACCC, Facebook stated that 98% of its revenue comes from selling ads per the Audience Network publishers and advertisers.

Many of us can agree our feeds clog up quite easily — sometimes I have to fish to see posts from the people I care about. “Deciding what I want to see” is a nebulous phrase which at times has me choking on Bored Panda content because I enjoyed ONE video. ONE.

Although the ACCC’s findings did not conclude any inappropriate market use by Facebook, the report suggested policy changes. Facebook has agreed to partner with regulators to create suitable policies to control the flow of unwarranted news and advertising.

The company is still resisting any government regulation.

Here’s the space between a rock and a hard place. As long as Facebook is a prominent source of news and content, governments will swoop in to try to tame the social media beast, and their idea of regulation may lead to a slippery slope in regards to free expression.

The pressure is on Facebook and other social media platforms to stop the bleeding themselves. For now. Policy change from within the company is the safest road to harmony between those of us who just want to see memes from friends and the empty rage articles claiming newsworthy content.

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