Why Businesses Should Hesitate To Embrace Facebook
When the Danish national election was announced late August, the tabloid B.T. got a great idea. On its very busy website, bt.dk, it asked it many users to either to like the left-winged (red block) or the rigth-winged (blue block). There was a clear Facebook-logo on the newspaper website, so you knew that you’d go to a Facebook group, if you liked either or.
In other words, B.T. recruited users from it own website to go to one of their two new Facebook groups.
Within days the two groups exploded with users.
30.000 users on blue, and 20.000 on red. That is a lot of users in little Denmark.
And then it was all over. Facebook suddely closed the two sites. Just like that. Without notice. Without any explanation.
A couple of days later, I met the Nordic Facebook represenative, Jan Christensen, in Copenhagen and asked him why. He said that he couldn’t tell exactly why, but that he guessed that it was becuase B.T. had not clearly stated that these groups were created by B.T.
I explained that B.T. recruited the likes from its own website, and that it posted information on the group info that it was made by www.bt.dk. He said that the B.T. logo – like any other commercial logos – should be clear on top of the first group page.
I asked him, if B.T. could correct this and have Facebook re-open the groups, and he said he could not help here, but that B.T. should contact Facebook in the US. I asked him, what that would take, and he confirmed that it would probably take weeks to get through to Facebook – if possible at all. So much for this election, it would then be all over.
No doubt B.T. could have done this better. But opposite a traditionel website, Facebook has become the one to decide everything, and Facebook obviously exercise its power. Facebook can close you down just like that. Nobody can do that on the open web – not just like that.