Reports and concerns have begun to surface about the new Facebook Likes Spam Filter enacted in Mid-July. The target of this crackdown seems to center on Fan Pages that receive a high volume of likes over a short duration. It has also been reported that Fan Pages whose growth is in too great a percentage compared with past performance can be affected.
According to Facebook:
“Facebook’s spam detection systems will automatically place limits on your Page if they register suspicious or deceptive activity that violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities….Certain websites promise to provide large amounts of likes for your Page if you sign up and give them money. These websites use deceptive practices and are typically scams. People who like your Page this way will be less valuable to your Page because they won’t necessarily have a genuine interest in what your Page promotes. If Facebook’s spam systems detect that your Page is connected to this type of activity, they’ll place limits on your Page to prevent further violations of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. “
From what we have been able to determine, if Likes are increased by a 20% margin within an unknown window, the Facebook user is at risk of receiving the notice: ”All Like buttons off of Facebook that point at your Page have been disabled”.
The Need for Facebook Likes Spam Filter
Most everyone agrees on the need to limit spammy “black hat” practices like purchasing Likes. It has yet to be seen if the Facebook Likes Spam Filter can balance these anti-spam measures with real growth of business and brands that rely on Facebook to increase exposure. How these changes ultimately affect Facebook campaigns and their popularity is yet to be determined.
Many internet marketing campaigns are developed with the idea of promoting Facebook awareness and driving Likes. As such, campaigns offer customers freebies, coupons and special deals as reward for Liking their Facebook Fan Page. With limitations now in place, can these campaigns still be effective? The last thing that businesses and marketers want is to spend weeks or months creating a social media campaign, only to be too successful and have Facebook disable all their hard work. If Like buttons are disabled during the critical cycle of the social media campaign, the initiative is very likely to fail and marketer’s efforts compromised by no fault other than being too successful.
Correcting the Facebook Likes Spam Filter
Facebook does offer recourse for those it marks as offenders:
“Limits may be either temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the offense. Find out if the limits on your Page are temporary or permanent by reading the description in your Page’s admin panel…..If you believe your Page received limits by mistake, please let us know by going to your Page’s admin panel and clicking Appeal under the limit’s description.
Additionally, leave it to Facebook to offers alternate solutions that drive their own revenue stream:
“However, you can pay for ads and sponsored stories to promote your Page so more people will see it. This can lead to your Page getting more likes. Running ads and sponsored stories is not the same as directly purchasing likes.”
The Facebook Likes Spam Filter changes come as a surprise and concern to those that specialize in social media. Keep an eye out for updates and new developments in this evolving situation.