Are You Aware Of Critical "Digital Platform Risks"

· Digital Marketing

Recently, I awoke to a notification from Facebook alerting me that one of my Facebook pages had been “unpublished”.

Apparently it wasn’t compliant with content policies/terms.

Being as helpful as ever, Facebook couldn’t actually give me an example of what wasn’t compliant, or point me to a specific post … it was just an automated message.

In the grand scheme of things, this restriction isn’t a huge deal for me. The page relates to a little side hustle I’ve got going on, and I had largely moved away from Facebook for this purpose anyway.

However, it’s a reminder that platforms such as Facebook have adopted vague, nebulous policies and terms, and then the “one-two punch" is that these terms are typically being enforced by some kind of algorithm which lacks nuance and contextual understanding. For example, a certain trigger word or type of content, which might be perfectly reasonable to the average person and particularly in context e.g. as part of a quote, could be deemed wholly inappropriate by some errant algorithm, which is judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.

And when this does happen, good luck getting anything remotely resembling actual human support (in fact the human support you can sometimes get is often worse, as all the support agents for these platforms seem to be trained in is providing condescending answers along the lines of “you’re stuffed, we hope you have a great day!”) 

Why does this matter?

Simple - because what happened to me could happen to you. For example, Facebook might be an important digital channel for your business … what if you woke up tomorrow and your business page (or ad account) was restricted for “no good reason” and with no effective means of recourse. 

You can’t change the rules of Facebook, or Instagram, or LinkedIn, or YouTube or whatever platforms you use for business purposes. They aren’t going to start investing in having widely-available, useful human support that can check an algo-flagged post and say “you know what, that’s an overreaction”. If anything, these platforms will double down with AI technology - and from a business perspective can you really blame them?

What you can do is firstly understand the risk. How disastrous would it be for your business if your Facebook page, or LinkedIn profile or whatever was shut down, because some flawed algorithm made a mistake in interpreting deliberately nebulous policy. 

Secondly, what steps are you taking to mitigate the risk? For example, trying to turn social media followers into email subscribers, or getting them to follow you on other networks to spread the risk.