Categories: adoptionFacebook

Facebook Spamming and Tagging Policies Continue to Hurt Animal Advocates

This article was originally posted on March 18, 2016. I’ve added the photo to this article of a cat who desperately needs rescue from Big Spring, Texas Animal Shelter. He has over $300 in pledges at this time and the shelter is full. His thread is here. Please share him.

Running out of time at Texas shelter

While the suspension of Facebook privileges has been in effect as far back as July 6, 2011, when Mark Zuckerburg held a news conference at Facebook headquarters announcing how spam filters were taking aim at animal advocates, this continues to be an issue almost five years later.

Animal advocates have made good use of Facebook by creating animal pages. There are crossposting pages, individual shelter and rescue pages and even pages asking for help for an individual animal at risk of death.

From Facebook

Below is the message these pages received, along with the “punishment” issued by Facebook:

“We’ve noticed that your account has been posting spam and irrelevant content on Facebook Pages. Because of this, your ability to post on Page walls has been suspended for 15 days.

If you continue to post spam after this block has been lifted, your account could be permanently disabled.”

Facebook page owners are very concerned about how animal advocates are treated on Facebook. I wanted to write on this because the problem is ongoing, and has gone on to add those who “tag” photos to face suspension. I have several friends who have been banned from tagging their photos of animals in need, for anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days.

This is a very easy problem to solve. If someone doesn’t approve of an animal post, they can easily unfriend you without wreaking havoc on your desire to save animals. The bans on community pages and the ability to tag could mean the difference of life and death to a shelter animal or a sick or injured animal in need.

What’s disturbing is how many pages are set up on Facebook that promote animal cruelty (complete with horrific photos – for example, and here), yet when reported, Facebook says none of their terms or conditions were violated. Has anyone at Facebook been informed cruelty to animals is often a precursor to cruelty to humans?

Facebook needs to understand they have all kinds of consumers (that’s what we are since they aim their ads at our individual interests). Whether it’s promoting animal advocacy, political interests or a person or animal in need, how dare they label everything as “spam”!

Please leave a comment if you’ve been placed in “Facebook jail” because you love animals and want to share them on your profile or community page. I’m especially interested in how long you were banned from posting or tagging.

Please comment on Facebook to spread the word. Please click “Also post on Facebook”. Thanks:

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

View Comments

  • And lets not forget another of Facebooks biggest traps. They "suggest" friends based on the friends you have and then ban you from sending friend requests when you send the person they suggest a request because you don't really know them.

  • I recall FB giving someone a warning for "overuse of the like button" because they liked photos and descriptions of cats needing help to be rescued or adopted as at risk of euthanasia in kill shelters.

  • Told you this was a big problem Michael. I've only been banned for making too many friend requests. First time a week, then 2 weeks twice then 30 days the last time. I had sent friend requests to a few cousins the last time I was banned. I never tag because I've heard of the risks. Personally I haven't known anyone who lost being able to post on their community pages but I wouldn't doubt it at all.

  • Longest FB was 3 months,but most recent ones have been 24 hrs. I'm not now completely certain its animal crossposters getting blocked, due to a non crossposter friend asking me why she had been blocked too. Seems like anyone can be blocked if they share a certain amount, just wish FB would tell us what the limit is. I have repeatedly asked this to FB on their pages & via response has ever been given.
    As for tagging, I'm not sure if thats just crossposters or not.

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