Facebook and Instagram reinforcing their community standards
Every social media network has been reinforcing its community standards or policies to give space for fresh ideas and content to be seen and heard easily. You may have experienced that Facebook is no different, especially if you have received undelivered messages in Sendible saying that your post goes against Facebook or Instagram's community standards.
Why am I experiencing community standards undelivered messages?
Since 2016, one focus of Facebook was to "remove, reduce and inform" content that is managed consistently across all their technologies:
- Removing harmful content that can indirectly cause damage to your brand.
- Reducing the distribution of problematic content that can go against their known policies.
- Informing users with context quickly to decide if they want to click, read and share it.
As Meta's apps, such as Facebook and Instagram, have increased, the different teams have been working together to align its policies and reinforce a safe community to click, comment, share and read content shared on their platforms.
To encourage policy consistency across its technologies, Facebook has introduced a Transparency Center that clearly outlines its policies, how Facebook will enforce its policies and how Facebook intends to be transparent on how the enforcement of policies are going.
Why am I experiencing this problem now?
Facebook wants to create a safe community, removing content or visibility of content that could include but is not limited to the following:
- Content that isn't authentic, for example, repeating the same content across multiple accounts, not giving quality information or updates.
- Content that is not relevant could be false news, for example, using link previews in content where the image and URL are not applicable.
- Content appears to have "spammy" behaviour - posting, sharing or engaging with the content at high frequencies.
- Content is geared toward promotions or selling of products and not using features dedicated for this type of content, such as the Ads feature.
Not following community standards indirectly affects page and post engagement.
Why am I not experiencing this issue directly on Facebook or Instagram?
Community standards applies to all accounts, whether you create content directly on Facebook and Instagram or are using their API integration through a third-party tool like Sendible. Detecting and reviewing community standard violations differs depending on the account type and whether you are using the platform directly or through their API integration.
An example when posting to a Facebook group:
If you post directly on Facebook to a Facebook group where the group is NOT set to a Buy and Sell group and the content appears sales focused and related keywords are detected, the post will go into a review process. Facebook will notify you if the post does not make it to the Facebook group.
However, suppose you are using Facebook's API integration through a third-party tool, like Sendible. In that case, Facebook will reject the post with a specific error "Publishing to this group has not been authorized. ...", and Sendible will relay this back to our customers using undelivered errors, providing the reason Facebook denied it.
An example when posting to an Instagram Business profile:
Suppose you are managing a selection of clients in a similar industry. You, then, schedule identical content to Instagram Business profiles, planning the posts simultaneously and not at an optimal time for a client. Should you use Instagram directly to post this content, it will take these posts longer to detect that it went against their community standards. Facebook has been transparent by stating that distributing content en masse will decrease viewership.
However, if you are using Instagram's API integration through a third-party tool, like Sendible, in that case, Facebook could detect this as spam right away and therefore reject the posts with a specific error. We will then provide the reason why Facebook denied the content being posted to Instagram in the Undelivered section of Sendible.
What could happen to my Facebook and Instagram accounts if I keep going against community standards?
Whether you are posting directly on Facebook and Instagram or through their API integration, you should start looking at how you can make improvements to ensure serious action is not taken. There are several steps that Facebook will go through should you go against community standards:
- Taking down content that goes against community standards
- Notifying that content has been removed in your news feeds and through Support Inbox directly on Facebook and Instagram
Note: When using their API integration, through third-party platforms such as Sendible, notifications from Facebook and Instagram will display in the Undelivered view displaying the error message that Facebook or Instagram gave for the reason as to why they rejected the post.
- If actions from step 1 and step 2 take place, Facebook starts to keep track of the number of strikes you get through the Facebook profile linked to the Groups and Pages you manage or the Instagram credentials you use for Instagram Business profiles. Depending on the severity of the violation, strikes may go against these specific Groups, Pages and Profiles.
- If your posts continue to go against the Facebook community standards or Instagram community guidelines, you may lose access to some features for a set time.
- Should you continue to go against their community standards without making any changes, or if the change is not significant enough, Facebook will start to disable accounts.
- Content to Facebook pages, groups or Instagram Business profiles that repeatedly violates Facebook community standards will be removed.
What can I do to ensure I am abiding by Facebook community standards?
- Do not post the same content to several Facebook and Instagram accounts. Content should be created to suit the social site and social page and profile.
- Do not post content at the same time to several Facebook and Instagram accounts. Start to look at the optimal times that work for specific Facebook and Instagram accounts.
- Do not add contact details to content. Refer back to the Facebook page or Instagram Business bio to retrieve contact details.
- Do not use the same hashtags consistently. You can repeat a few hashtags consistently, but not all of them.
To get more information on how Facebook and Instagram are handling violations or to understand why content has been detected as a violation, see Facebook's Transparency Center.