Facebook went all Britney Spears on me. They took away my ability to control my business and they told me, “Oops, you did it again.” Yep. I did. I posted something that went against their community standards and I have been blocked from Facebook. But luckily it’s not for long.

Today I’m going to talk about why “You’ve Got Jail”, and how Facebook is getting bad for business.

There’s a meme that I use that has two pigs standing in the barn talking to each other. One of the pigs says, “Hey, isn’t this great? We get to stay here for free.” The other pig says, “Yeah, even the food is free.” The quote at the bottom says, “Facebook, if you’re not paying for it, you are not the customer. You are the product being sold.” That’s essentially what Facebook is. They’re looking for your demographic information to sell to advertisers.

Free Speech Is NOT FREE!

Facebook promotes itself as the keeper of free speech, but really what they are is the purveyor of paid speech. Let me explain. You can use just about any speech as long as they’re making money, except for hate speech but even that has 50 shades of grays on it.

You don’t know what their community standards are because you can’t tell if it’s an AI bot looking at your stuff or a human being. Even when they flag you, you have a chance to say, “I disagree.” That’s all you can say. You can’t give them a big, detailed explanation or ask them why. There is nobody to talk to. You’re on your own. They’ve built this huge multi-billion dollar business around selling people’s information and not having any customer support. It’s frustrating.

You’ve Got JAIL!

So how did I get put into Facebook jail? Well, I create two posts every single day. One is a caption contest at night and the other one is a motivational inspirational quote I call “Deep Bacon Thoughts” every single morning. The one that got me blocked this time was different than the other two.

The first two were for caption contests, and they said I went beyond their community standards of nudity. Well, there really wasn’t nudity. You might have seen somebody’s butt crack or something like that. But they said, “No, not good. You’re banned.” So I got three days in jail.

This time really got my ire. This was a quote of the day. It was from a historical figure. Granted, he was in the German Army in World War II, but it’s still a legitimate, real quote, which I thought would make a point with people and get them to think.

It had his picture and this direct historical quote, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” That quote is not necessarily hateful. It’s historical. But somehow or another, they categorized it as hate speech because of the person who said it.

Now, here is the text directly from their community standards…

“We recognize that people sometimes share content that includes someone else’s hate speech to condemn it or raise awareness. In other cases, speech that might otherwise violate our standards can be used self-referentially or in an empowering way. (Hint, hint?) Our policies are designed to allow room for these types of speech, but we require people to clearly indicate their intent. If the intention is unclear, we may remove the content.”

Nothing in there was unclear. I only posted text that said “Deep Bacon Thoughts”. Nothing pointed at anybody, nothing derogatory, and certainly none of that text was typed up. It was in a graphic. They say they will remove the content, but it doesn’t say anything about blocking somebody or removing you from Facebook.

Facebook For Business?

Now, looking at Facebook in context for business, there’s a huge difference between social networking and social media. Social networking is what we do with our friends. My caption contest and the quote of the day are media that is shared to create conversation. People will comment on it. Some like it and some don’t. Some people have given me grief about some of my posts that I’ve shared and that’s fine. Not everybody has to agree. If it gets uberly political or some people start a war with each other, I will remove those comments and moderate them. But the key thing is that the initial post had absolutely nothing to do with that.

Social Media vs Social Networking

When I sit and look at social media online, I’ve always thought of LinkedIn as the place where business-to-business people gather. I’ve looked at Instagram is where consumer brands can best promote their products because you can’t have any links back to anything. Links can only be in your profile. Facebook has been the desired place for local businesses. There are tons of groups like, “What’s Happening in Batavia” or other local groups about small businesses.

But when it comes to business, there are some things that Facebook does not allow you to do, or they denigrate. When Facebook for business started out, it was huge. But now, if you post anything with a link in it, especially in the top portion and not in the comments, the algorithms hide it from newsfeeds.

Business Pages?

What about FacebookAds? If you place them to try to promote your business, they generally get ignored. Facebook got a lot of people addicted to crack, meaning they said, “Make a business page, get a thousand likes and we’ll show it to everybody.” Well, at its peak, it used to show 20 to 25% of your business page likes your posts. But nowadays, you’re lucky if you get .5% of people to see it.

How do I know? I’ve got over a thousand people on my pages and my client’s pages. When we post something, less than five people comment, like, share, do anything. The number of people that supposedly see it in their feed is few and far between. Basically, you’re getting .05% of engagement. That is because they want to sell you ads. But if you’re posting something that they deemed bad, they can block you from Facebook lives and advertising. I not only got 3 days in Facebook jail, but they blocked me for doing ads and lives for 30 days!

Business Groups?

The next thing that they did was set up Facebook groups. You can’t do ads in Facebook groups and pages can like Facebook groups. You can act as a page, but what good does it do for your page? Little to NOTHING. When you’re adding people to that group, Facebook gets all the info. I have a group that I run that is about holistic health for dogs. Now they know everybody in that group is interested in that and they can feed them ads.

Basically, you’re helping them organize people to advertise too. Yet, it does little to nothing to actually promote your business unless that is what the group is about. Most people join a group for information, not to be sold to.

Final Thoughts

After three days, I’m finally out of Facebook jail, but I can no longer do Facebook lives or do any advertising for another 27 days. This has me freaked out about my brand. If I post something about bacon, will I be taken down because I’ve offended vegetarians or pet lovers? We’ll find out, won’t we?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, experiences with Facebook Jail you’d like to share? Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? Do you have any Facebook for business success or horror stories, or any other ideas or advice you could share?