As you may know, Facebook is under some considerable scrutiny for the spread of fake news, particularly as it relates to politics.

This is NOT where Facebook wants to be, and it is certainly not what Facebook wants to be used for. Facebook wants to be the place where family, friends, and neighbors can share what’s going on in their lives and neighborhood. As in any large social situation, talking politics can be a real bummer.

Under this scrutiny, Facebook is changing what they will allow as advertisements. They are cracking down on two very specific things:

  • Shared content
  • Political ads

Taken together this makes a whole lot of sense: No one can advertise a shared political post. Taken separately, they can muck things up for entrepreneurs who are just trying to drum up some business. Let’s take a look:

SHARED CONTENT

Facebook is cracking down on intellectual property misuse and plagiarism. This is a good thing! What that means in practical terms is that if someone else created it, you cannot advertise it as your own – regardless of how you may give credit.

Sharing works the same way it always has. You see something you think your customers would like to see and click “share”. The “share” button hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t changed its appearance or how it functions. If you click on it, the shared content will show up on your feed just as Facebook intended.

But…

You cannot advertise that content. If your post says “Your Company shared a _____” across the top, you will never be able to advertise it. And here is the kicker:

EVEN IF IT IS YOUR OWN CONTENT!

So Buzz Frenzy (the company) cannot share a post from Dan Stocke (me, the owner of Buzz Frenzy and its Facebook administrator) and then advertise it.

THE TAKEAWAY: Get out of the habit of sharing content if you intend to advertise it (buzz, boost, or otherwise).

The work around is to copy the link and paste it into your original post, let it auto populate, and then write over the URL with your own content. This way you are creating your own content and simply referring to another post, in essence you are giving credit where credit is due (in Facebook’s eyes).

You cannot advertise shared content EVEN IF IT’S YOUR OWN CONTENT

POLITICAL ADS

Under new rules, no one can run a political ad until they authorize their page with Facebook (You can find this on your Business Page: Settings: Authorizations). The process is fairly straightforward. You need to provide:

  • A US driver’s license or US passport.
  • The last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
  • A US-based residential mailing address.

Facebook will then send you a letter with a code. You go to a special URL to enter the code to prove that you are indeed you. Once authorized you will then be asked to approve the disclaimer that will be placed on all of your political ads. This disclaimer includes a “Paid for by” label”. You can find more information from Facebook HERE.

That a lot of hoops right? Why all of this?

Because if anyone is going to place a paid political advertisement on Facebook, Facebook wants to know who to chase after if the ad turns out to be false or misleading. If you really think about it, as an citizen, this is really great.

But…

We already know how Facebook works (I think). There is some artificial intelligence involved, so certain ads get caught up in the algorithms that aren’t what would typically be considered a “political” ad. Case in point:

VEGAN RESTAURANT ON MEATLESS DAY
Buzz Frenzy has a vegan restaurant as a client. Nice people. Not a political bunch at all. The mayor of their city made a proclamation declaring a certain day “meatless day”. What would you do, as a vegan restaurant, if the mayor declares a Meatless Day? You’d advertise it, of course!

Well, they did, and got flagged as a political ad. Here is the image that didn’t pass the test:

Proclamation

This is a political ad?

Buzz Frenzy tried to appeal on their behalf to no avail.

Unfortunately more and more businesses are tripping over the “political” problem.

THE TAKEAWAY: Stay away not only from politics, but anything that even has a gentle whiff of a political post.

WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFO?

Facebook is trying very hard to insure that people use the platform for people to be human, engaging, and relevant. So, what should you do? Well… be human, engaging, and relevant. Odds are you are probably already all of that all ready. You may trip over these things every once in a while, but if stay true to simply talking to your customers, you are going to be just fine.

You be social. We’ll automate the rest.

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