Am I Blocked?

In my hometown of Germantown, being blocked on Facebook has become a topic of interest. A certain alderman has blocked large numbers of users he considers connected to unnamed “bad people.” He claims the move was to protect his family although he continues to use the platform to share his political ideas, not on his personal page, but on forums designed to foster discussion like community bulletin boards and discussion groups.

This move removes any possibility of a challenge to his comments making it appear that everyone on the board agrees with him. Since I am one of the blocked citizens and somewhat of a social media expert, I thought I would share a quick tutorial for you to understand how the blocking feature works and how to tell if you are blocked by someone.

Facebook lists blocking under Privacy Basics. Facebook assumes you are blocking someone because you are being bothered by that person. When a person is blocked, all communication between the two users on Facebook, present and future are eliminated. By blocking a user, a person can block a user from viewing their profile, sending friend requests, messages, comments or even reading other posts written on photos, links, pages, or groups. It’s as if you never existed. The block is the most powerful weapon at the disposal of a user to exclude one or more people on Facebook.

Screenshot 2017-06-27 09.48.38

The first step to see if someone has blocked you is to look for their name on Facebook. If you cannot find the profile, you may or may not be blocked. Try also to find the name by visiting the friends list of mutual friends on Facebook. If you still do not find them there could be 3 reasons:

1) You have been blocked.

2) The profile has been deleted.

3) The profile has been disabled (by the user directly or by Facebook following a violation of Facebook Terms).

If the name of the profile is black and in bold and you cannot click to visit the profile, you are almost certainly blocked by that profile on Facebook.

A user with the account disabled would have the text bold “Facebook User” and not the real name. This gives us a first confirmation that the user has blocked us on Facebook.

The simplest and most obvious way to determine if you are blocked is to ask a mutual friend if he can see the profile of the person you think has blocked you. If the profile is visible to the friend in common then you are blocked.

If after trying the mentioned methods above and found out that you are indeed blocked, try not worry or feel irritated about it. If, like in Germantown, it is a political figure who has blocked you, be sure to contact the person via email and ask for an explanation as to why you were blocked. It could have been a simple misunderstanding. Or you really are a political operative associated with “bad people.” If so, join the club!

 

 

Social Media and Elected Officials

FB logoSocial media is an excellent tool for politicians to use to get their message out. These tools are used to get one’s message out without the filter of mainstream media. How does one use these tools?

Let’s start with Facebook since it is the dominant player. First of all, I’d recommend making sure your own personal profile’s privacy settings are set to the levels that you’re comfortable with.

For example, let’s say you are newly married with a young child and your wife likes to post pictures of your child on Facebook for your family to see. I would highly recommend that you be very selective with the people that you accept as friends and check Facebook’s privacy settings to be certain that the photos are set to only share with friends.

Here’s a link to the tutorials Facebook provides that will help you determine the levels of privacy you want for your personal posts.

Screenshot 2017-05-31 20.41.32Facebook Privacy Basics

Now you’re ready to start your campaign profile page. Ideally, you will have started your page as a candidate. Under Pages, choose Create Page and choose the Artist, Band or Public Figure icon. There is a dropdown menu where you can choose the correct category.

This will be where you share your campaign’s message. It’s a good idea to have a second person as an administrator on your page in order to answer constituents questions in a timely manner.

Facebook allows you to not only share posts like you do a regular profile but you can also upload articles as well as create polls. This is also an excellent way to show your constituency the ways you are working in your community to make it a better place.

People love pictures so post as many pictures as you can of yourself with your constituency as you go about the business of governing. You can even go Live with your campaign page. A Facebook page allows you to be in contact with your constituency yet still maintain your privacy on your personal profile page.

In conclusion, social media can be a very cost-effective method to reach your constituency with your campaigns thoughts and ideas. Facebook is great place to start.

Don’t Like This Post!

FB like

by Alys Drake

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Personally, I love the interaction with friends, especially those I don’t get to see often. My marketing background likes it too for the interaction businesses can have with their clients, particularly local businesses and non-profits. However, that’s also the area where I hate it.

Facebook has rules and, for whatever reason, some businesses and non-profits tend to to ignore those rules. “My Facebook page is too small; no one will care if I do this,” many say.

Maybe you’re right. And maybe you aren’t. Do you really want to take the chance of losing all the fans you have worked so hard to get? The one thing that gets me hot is contests.

Almost daily, I see Pages run contests that violate Facebook’s Page Guidelines. “Like this post and we’ll choose a winner from the likes,” they will say. Maybe they think that will get them engagement but it could get their page shut down. The Guidelines say

“Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.”

It dosen’t say “maybe” or “sometimes” or “it depends.” The word they use is “MUST.” Also, read this:

“You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.”

It’s pretty clear to me. You must not ask people to like a post, a page, a picture or ANYTHING in order to win a contest. MUST NOT.

This is not hard. And if you are a social media consultant or a marketing and public relations professional, and you allow your clients to do this, it’s YOUR fault when their page goes missing one day.

Facebook makes the rules. We don’t have to like them but it’s their playground so if we agree to be a part of their community, we MUST follow their rules. Here’s the last sentence from the guidelines page:
“We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.”
So, follow the Facebook rules. Or have fun getting all your fans back.