Delphine, an independent trader, is subject to abusive reports on her professional Facebook page: “If we don’t have this visibility, we are no longer a person”
Delphine, an independent trader for 14 years in Waterloo, contacted us via the orange Alert us button. For several months, she has had a problem with her professional Facebook page, her main work tool: abusive reports have led to it being blocked. Delphine denounces eccentric reasons, but also a lack of communication with the social network. What if this happens to you?
Delphine is an independent trader. She has been running a ready-to-wear store for 14 years in the center of Waterloo. She also has a website and a Facebook page from which she posts more than 20 photos and videos a day. It also presents new products twice a week live, or offers mini-fashion shows to present outfits. A habit that asks him “enormouslyof investment and work.
But for several months, she has encountered a problem: “My business Facebook page is continuously blocked for not respecting the rules. The reason ? Nudity or sexual act!!”, she writes to us via the orange alert us button. “We no longer have the choice but to depend on social networks, but we cannot control anything. I feel at bout, harassed and defenseless! What can I do?”she continues, helpless in the face of the situation.
3 different Facebook pages, 3 pages reported abusively then blocked by the platform
Her professional Facebook page, Delphine has had it for 10 years. And she had never had such a concern. The trader was forced to create 2 new pages, which subsequently suffered the same fate: abusive reports and a temporary blocking.
“On October 20, Facebook blocked me for 24 hours saying that I violated Facebook’s rules for nudity and sexual activity.she begins. 2 days later, Delphine’s page is again blocked, but this time, for a period of 3 days.
“I was afraid I had been hacked, so I created a new page with another email address and changed the name thinking it would be good”she explains. But Delphine has a bad surprise: “This page was also blocked 3 days later and then again 3 days later, still for nudity and sexual act”.
She then creates a 3e page, who also suffers the same fate. Delphine is then literally blocked: “I couldn’t even appeal to Facebook, I was totally blocked”she laments. So with other traders, Delphine filed a complaint with the police. And thanks to the ongoing investigation, she managed to see that it was always the same 3 accounts that reported her posts.
If we don’t have this visibility on Facebook, we are nobody, even if we have a large area like I
“It’s a shame that we can’t have more dialogue with Facebook because they are robots that respond, we don’t know how to do anything and we don’t even know the reasons for the blockage”she adds.
Facebook, an important work tool for independent traders
Especially since Delphine cannot afford not to publish anything for several days… Because since the covid-19 crisis, consumer habits have changed, she explains to us: “For us live is very important. People need contact, they look at social networks a lot more than before and like to discover the clothes worn before going to the store”, she expands.
“If we don’t have this visibility on Facebook, we are no longer anyone, even if we have a large area like I have here”, she points. And for good reason, since the health crisis, the influx in stores has dropped: “Before, it was 70% of sales in stores and 30% on the site”she tells us. Today, Delphine sells as much in store as on the site: “It’s 50-50″.
“Without Facebook, we don’t know how to do anything. Being blocked like that is very difficult”she laments. Today, merchants are dependent on social networks to sell better. Such a blockage is therefore felt even in its turnover:“There is a huge difference: without the Facebook page, I wouldn’t sell anything on my site, and in store we wouldn’t have many people… People buy a lot more online”. Without Facebook, his sales plummet: “I tried not to do live or post pictures, but the turnover drops dramatically. We can’t afford not to be on the networks”.
Other traders facing this issue
This is confirmed by Christophe Wambersie, spokesperson for the SNI, the Neutral Union for the Independents. Today, 75% of merchants use social networks professionally. Abusive reporting and blocking of untimely pages therefore become problematic for independent traders because “it can have economic repercussions. points to the spokesperson. “Social networks have become the first communication tool for merchants, to develop notoriety”, he adds.
Facebook has become a professional communication tool, it is no longer a normal social network, it would take an after-sales policy to find solutions and it is not
But, problem: the abusive reports which can lead to the total blocking of the professional Facebook page are more and more recurrent, he explains: “From time to time, we have merchants telling us that they are getting blocked and reported without knowing the reasons.” And the reasons can be many, “it’s relatively vague. admits Christophe Wambersie.
The SNI would like a Facebook call center to be opened by country
A situation “delicate” denounced by the SNI spokesperson: “Facebook has become a professional communication tool, it is no longer a normal social network, it would take an after-sales policy to find solutions and it is not. Currently, you have to send a call to the United States, wait for their return, and the release can take 21 days but we don’t know the reasons.”
Since the sector is now dependent on social networks to sell better, the SNI would like a Facebook call center to be opened in each country so that the merchant who encounters such a problem can be in direct contact with the social network. “We questioned the Federal State Secretary for Digitalization on this. At the Belgian level, this would imply that any trader could be in contact with the country’s social network to precisely know the motivations, and correct if necessary”. he develops.
Some tips to avoid losing everything in case of blocking
In order to avoid losing everything if your professional Facebook page is blocked, Christophe Wambersie gives some advice:
- Do not focus all communication on a single social network, it is better to diversify (Instagram, etc.);
- At the same time, a backup of all of what has already been posted is essential in order to be able to reopen a new page without losing all the data;
- Finally, you obviously have to fight with Facebook to find out the reason for the blocking. There are several levels: more important to less important, it is obviously necessary to ask the motivation of the blockage. Normally within 21 days the page should be back online;
- And above all, have a clean website so as not to lose everything: do not bet everything on social networks.
How do I get help from a real person at Facebook in case of abusive reports? Here is the procedure to follow
Sabina Gishvarova is a social media specialist. She is the director of “Brand New Day Agency” in La Louvière and works with major advertisers. His agency also offers training for small businesses to help them use networks as a work tool. We asked him for some advice for merchants who find themselves in this delicate situation:
- You must first go to the Meta Business help page, which allows you to connect with real people at Facebook and not robots;
- You obviously have to be connected to your account;
- Then, click on “contact advertising support”;
- You will then have to select the element for which you need help;
- Then finally, select the account for which you are requesting help;
- And finally, you connect with a real person who can help you.
“What we also advise is to be patient and not hesitate to relaunch Facebook. Sometimes it can take 2-3 weeks but it ends up being resolved if the report was made abusively”, reassures Sabina Gishvarova.
It is also essential to have a secure page: “Facebook wants to make sure accounts are authentic accounts, run by real people, so there are regular cleanups.”she points. She therefore advises to avoid creating a private account and a separate business account, because the business account will be what is called a “new account”, “i.e. which does not have much activity and which may appear suspicious in the eyes of Facebook”.
Where can abusive reports come from? Is there a flaw in Facebook’s system?
Sabina Gishvarova explains to us that this problem is not only related to traders: “It comes from the fact that Facebook has implemented a much stronger security”she believes.
“Facebook, like most networks, uses algorithms and artificial intelligence. Since this system is automatic, there may be flaws: recognition problem, and therefore sometimes there may be an excess on the part of Facebook in terms of blocking”she expands.
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