Many companies organize contests on Facebook. The goal: to maximize their visibility, the involvement of users and recruit new fans. Unfortunately, many contests on Facebook do not respect Facebook’s rules of use. Pages that publish contests that do not comply with the rules take risks: removal of the publication, suspension of the page or even removal of the Facebook page. In order to help you legally organize Facebook contests, we have set up some rules that you must follow.
Facebook contests: obligations for organizers
Facebook pages that organize contests on the social network are responsible for the legality of the contest. They undertake to clearly state the official rules and conditions of the offer and the conditions of participation (any restrictions regarding age, country …). Organizers must ensure that the rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in the promotion are respected. The social network states that the contests must include these elements: a Facebook Privacy Release completed by each participant and a statement that the promotion is not managed or sponsored by Facebook.
Facebook contest: prohibited activities
To publish their contests on Facebook, you notice two options: use your own page, directly or via a simple publication. You can also use a Facebook application that has been added to your page.
Asking a friend to tag or sharing a link is prohibited
Facebook states that you may not use personal calendars or referrals from friends to manage promotions. This means that it is strictly forbidden to ask participants:
- to identify a friend who’s taking part in a Facebook contest
- place a link in your own timeline to participate
- share a link from a Facebook friend to participate
You cannot force participants to tag Facebook friends or share a link on a Facebook profile, nor can you encourage them to do so (for example, by giving them more chances to win). These rules are specified in black and white in the terms and conditions that apply to Facebook pages. It is also forbidden to force participants to like a page. These guidelines specify that a user must not become a fan to participate in a contest. As of 5 November 2014, Facebook’s development policy (chapter 4.5) states: “Do not encourage people to like it or give the impression that you like it”. Since then, Facebook has had access to content, and thus to a contest.
Don’t always trust the help center
If you search the help pages of Google or Facebook, you may come across these kinds of questions and answers. A marketer asks if he can restrict access to a contest to fans of a Facebook page. The Facebook help centre tells him that it is possible. Be careful, because this is not an official answer: the Facebook Help Team consists of voluntary employees, they are not employees or subcontractors of Facebook. We recommend that you follow the rules on the official social networking pages to avoid problems. So only guidelines and policies from the Facebook platform.
Drawing up the regulations that comply with legislation
If we look at similar studies, the situation is as follows: drawing up clear rules for all potential participants. This is strongly recommended by legal specialists. Even submitting your regulations to a lawyer is recommended, in order to avoid any risk of possible fraud or false claims.