With the coming and passing of the holiday season we see sweepstakes and contests galore, especially on Facebook. My news feed is filled with “Share this to win” or “Like my picture so I can win…” It never ceases to amaze me what a company will give away and risk, just for a chance to go viral. Now to the point of this blog: legality.
Well folks, sorry to say but every single baby contest that you see asking you to “Like my baby’s photo to win $10 worth of baby clothes” is not in align with Facebook’s Guidelines.
A majority of the promotions and contests run on Facebook are “illegal” according to Facebook’s Page Guidelines. Just to clarify, by entering these contests you are not breaking any rules, but the company running the contest is putting their Facebook presence at risk. If Facebook does catch them, the company page will be removed… forever.
Contests and promotions on Facebook are NOT allowed to “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.” The rules go even further, saying that even if you do use these few allowed functionalities, a company cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant. The guidelines are easy to understand and hard to follow. A recipe for disaster.
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