Do you manage a Facebook business page? Good news for all of you who take the time to do the job well. There are changes afoot (again), but these look like they benefit those who put forth quality content. From what I can see, there are a few aspects of the changes.
First up is page quality. If you go into your business page, you will find a tab at the top of your page labelled page quality. It may be under a MORE tab. Go ahead and click on it. It pops up with an explanation of the newest Facebook changes, as well as specifically what they are looking for; Community Standards Violations and False News found by Independent Fact Checkers. I am pleased to say that none of my pages contain any false news or are in violation of community standards.
So what does that mean exactly? And what happens if you break the rules?
The goal of our Community Standards is to encourage expression and create a safe environment.
As far as Community Standards go, it’s about playing nice in the sandbox people. Don’t be a bully, a jerk, or a hate mongerer. Steer clear of promoting violence or criminal behaviour. Use your voice to spread information, sure, but do it so that people feel safe. Can’t we all just get along? If you want to read Facebook’s entire policy and what it covers, it is outlined here.
What you need to know though is that first-time violators will be given warnings. Subsequent infractions may lead to restricted posting abilities. Depending upon severity, people’s accounts may be disabled, and police may be contacted if physical harm or a threat to public safety is suspected. I don’t recommend seeing how far you can go. Just a suggestion.
A certain someone’s favourite chant to news media outlets — “Fake News!”. Spammers beware. Facebook is making changes and they are aiming them at creators of FALSE NEWS.
So what exactly is False News and how do you recognize it? You’ve probably seen it before. Sketchy headlines that try to lure you in with shocking claims, plenty of CAPITALS, and excessive exclamation points!!!!! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Questionable sources, iffy links, unusual formats, odd photos, unverifiable dates, and more should give you pause too. And Facebook wants to reduce everyone’s experiences with Fake News going forward.
Facebook has implemented more measures to recognize and remove false news in the news feed. They employ third-party fact checkers, plus ask you to report anything questionable you stumble upon. Clickbait will not be tolerated. Post will be placed lower in news feeds or taken down entirely. Accounts who continue to violate standards face the risk of distribution being reduced and advertising suspended, up to the whole account being removed entirely. Use your head and check your facts before sharing, and you should be fine. But knowingly spread spam? Watch out!
Hand in hand with quality comes transparency. When did a page start? Has it changed names or merged with other pages in its history? Who runs it? Do they run any ads on the page?
This gives you a better snapshot of the page and in theory, helps you to decide if you trust it and want to follow it. You can find a page’s transparency summary on the right-hand side of the page, underneath the about section.
So what do you think? Are these changes a long time in coming, too much, not enough?