|© Carrie Boyko|
Has Facebook Boxed us In?
You should first know that there is no liability to you in taking part in a giveaway. The liability is all on me. I must follow the FTC guidelines, which I do. This means I disclose whether I have been paid to give a product away or do a product review. For the record, I do not accept compensation for reviews, and the prizes are generally donated as promotional giveaways.
In addition to the FTC guidelines, I now have to keep up with Facebook's ever changing rules about how our pages on their site may be used to promote or facilitate a promotion, sweepstakes, giveaway, drawing, etc.
This post is simply my way of sharing the rules with you so that I can be totally on the up-and-up with you. No misunderstandings. But let's be clear. You will find different interpretations out there. These are mine.
A few months ago Facebook announced that owners of Facebook pages could not request a page "Like" as a basis for entry in a promotional event of any sort. At that time, no statement was made that led me to believe comments were also out of play. Other sites interpreted it this way as well; some continued to ignore this new rule. Now we have a whole new batch of rules. :(
New rules were announced this past week. You can read the latest guidelines at the link if you're into this sort of legal fun.
These new guidelines specifically mention that wall post "Likes", photo uploads and comments may not be used as entry methods, per item #4 on their list. Although some may interpret this differently, I am choosing to go the safe route and remove Facebook discussions from our giveaway mechanism entirely, with one exception. I will continue to place my giveaway announcement posts and winners' announcements posts on my Facebook page. This will give you full access to click the link to my post and get all the facts.
Entries to my giveaways will now be limited to:
- site interaction via blog comments and comment conversations,
- email submissions when requested (photos, for example),
- and Tweets that can be tracked. Specifically, this is a Tweet sent to @AllThingsDog via our Twitter address: http://twitter.com/allthingsdog. These Tweets can be easily located in bulk, rather than checked individually by permalinks. I thank you for using this method to make giveaway entries more expeditious for me.