Falling Foul Of Facebook

Published on 5th July 2017 by Stickboy BKK

With just under 42,000 page likes on the Stickboy Bangkok Facebook page, it brings a decent amount of traffic to the site every week and allows me to reach a sizeable audience from Thailand and around the world.

In the three years it’s been up and running I’ve had my fair share of “bans” as an admin of the page for all sorts of community rules I’ve apparently broken, some justified, most not.

An old gold photo from a Thai restaurant that said, “Sorry, No Russian, No French, No Israeli, Please Thank You” landed me a 30 day ban after it went viral clocking up over 25,000 shares, comments & likes as did a photo of a display with Nazi memorabilia spotted in a Pattaya mall that I simply commented on with my usual WTF?

Both photos are still on thousands of other Facebook pages unlike the ones I shared that were deleted at the time of my bans.

Sorry, No Russian, No French, No Israeli, Please Thank You

This week has seen me run into a different issue with the page and one I’m mentioning as it seems pretty rare after a quoted Google search came back with just 3 results.

Limits have been placed on Stickboy Bangkok

– Stories from your Page are not being shown in News Feed. This could be due to activities from your Page that don’t comply with Facebook’s policies. This limit is temporary and expires Monday, July 10 at 6:51am.

facebook page limits

What this means in simple terms is nobody following the page will see any of my updates in their News Feeds. The only way the content will be seen is by visiting the actual page.

My last post prior to the ban had a reach of 9,000 the following morning. Nothing since has went above 250 with most hovering around 150.

When I seen the warning I scrolled back through a few weeks worth of posts and didn’t see anything that would trigger what was listed in the “learn more” page that mentioned little other than spamming.

Now, I’d accidentally shared 1 post the previous night twice but surely that wouldn’t result in such drastic action and I’ve never received any warnings prior to this.

As followers will know, I’m pretty active on both FB & Twitter and can post and share anything from 10 to 40 updates a day. That’s nothing new either as I’ve always been a heavy user.

bizarre ban facebook

I hit the appeal button and sent off my message stating I felt the restrictions placed on my page were in error and could someone explain what triggered this to allow me to offer up an explanation if there was one or perhaps point out there’d been an error.

3 days later, no dice, no reply, eff all.

So I went into Facebook Ad Manager and got a rep on chat. I explained the problem but they didn’t know if it was New Delhi or New Year. They did say they would escalate my issue to the relevant dept but that would take a few days – by which time everything will be back to normal and 1/4 million eyeballs down.

Even a Boosted post made no difference. I stuck a 5,000 baht budget on it to tell followers updates would be on other Stickboy pages for the week ahead. Total reach 258, half of which were organic. For once, Facebook didn’t want my money.

The impact on visitors to the site has been minimal as I’ve always had a broad range of traffic sources but felt it was worth mentioning as many out there depend on Facebook and it’s traffic for their business.

With Facebook, and Google, it’s always their ball and their rules. They will either move the goalposts, change the rules without warning or simply pick up their ball and walk away without a word, leaving you standing there scratching your head wondering what the hell went wrong.

A lesson I learned more than a decade ago when a popular site I ran got hit hard after a Google algo update that seen referrals drop by over 90% resulting in sizeable financial loses because I’d put all my eggs in one basket. A lesson I learned the hard way and one I’ll never make again.

If you’re making money and relying on Facebook for customers, be warned and take measures that won’t see you left high and dry if like me you one day fall foul of the rules. If it’s not the issue I’ve run into, it could be one of many more in their community guidelines.

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