The Actual News:
AARGH, PA!’s Facebook page was unpublished AGAIN by Facebook’s automatic thingy. BUT, at least this time it’s slightly different. The thing is, Facebook clearly made an update to its system of how to appeal an unpublished page. Previously it was just “sorry” and that was it. At least now there is an “Appeal” button AND that button updates to state “you appealed this decision”. There is even a link to Facebook’s Page Guidelines and Community Standards.
Now in the hopes that an arbiter manages to visit this site to make sure everything is copacetic and above board, I want to go over, point-by-point, how PA! will adhere to Facebook’s standards. The actual break down will be posted after the cut below.
That said, why should I give a crap? Well first off it’s a matter of principle: I didn’t do anything wrong, and I want to make sure that it doesn’t affect my ability to do business on one of the largest advertising platforms on the internet. Secondly, if I don’t get this taken care of now… OK, say I start a new Facebook account, but one that slips under Facebook’s radar somehow, like calling it “The Aaah! of Pokémon” or something. If this issue isn’t resolved, then it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN, that new account will be taken down due to “evasion of decision” or some such. As long as Facebook’s automated system thinks I broke the rules, then I will never make any headway on Facebook, whichagainis a huge advertising platform and will therefore greatly affect my ability to do business for this site.
Anyways, here’s the breakdown…
Facebook Community Standards
I have read each of Facebook’s guidelines on how to maintain a safe online community, and so this is my response to it.
- Violence and Criminal Behavior
- PA! is not a website that wishes harm upon anyone. My main goal in creating PA! was to build a Pokémon website that was open to everyone who shared my interest in creating fan-made Pokémon TCG cards.
- PA! intends to be a safe website for all visitors. I have no interest in posting any kind of shocking, exploitative or otherwise objectionable content on this site or our social media accounts.
- PA! also does not intend nor wish to post information of a personal nature (ie “doxxing”) about anyone. That’s just wrong.
- Objectionable Content
- PA!’s content will be, at most, “Rated PG-13″… but even then a post of THAT calibre would be a rare occurrence. Generally PA! is… what’s between “Rated G” and “Rated PG”?
- So generally PA! is focused on just posting content of friendly Pokémon doing friendly stuff with their friends. Any content that would be the opposite of “friendly”, such as hate speech, depictions of cruelty and insensitivity, etc., will never be posted here.
- Integrity and Authenticity
- I have always maintained a personal code of honor and respect, though I will admit that I’m only human and I have fouled up sometimes. But still, I’ve always tried my best to say what I mean and mean what I say.
- PA! is not in the business of creating false news and rebroadcast what I know to be lies.
- PA! will also make sure that anything of a fictional nature that might be accidentally mistaken as factual is clearly stated to be fictional.
- Respecting Intellectual Property
- PA! has always been about creating custom artwork which might be mistaken for the genuine article. Therefore PA! will take every step to make sure that our artwork could never be truly mistaken for a genuine item, at least by those who know what to look for. PA! will also make sure Facebook is not used to spread those kind of falseness or to claim false products as genuine.
- Content-Related Requests and Decisions
- PA! respects Facebook’s right to remove content that another user has requested that they have taken down. Likewise PA! will comply with any requests made of us to do the same.
Facebook Page Guidelines
The following are generally individual responses to Facebook’s Page Guidelines. If any specific guideline is not included or replied to, it like because it doesn’t apply to us and/or the comment made of one of the other guideline from that same section applies to it as well.
General Policies for Pages, Groups, and Events
1. Prohibited Business Practices Pages, Groups, and Events must not promote products, services, schemes or offers using deceptive or misleading business practices, including those intended to scam people out of money or personal information.
- Nope! PA! is only focused on building a Facebook community surrounding this fan website. I’ve also placed notices at the bottom of every page stating that the site is not “affiliated, endorsed, or approved” by Pokémon‘s owners or licensees.
2. Impersonation Pages, Groups, and Events must not impersonate or falsely represent a brand, entity, or public figure. Where a Page, Group, or Event is being used to express support for or interest in a brand, entity, or public figure, it must make clear in the name or description that it is not an official representation.
- Facebook clearly states in their examples that one of the approved forms of using the info of any brand, entity, or public figure is that of “Disclosing in the name or description that a Page, Group, or Event is a fan, parody, satire, criticism, or commentary entity”. Pokémon Aaah! is absolutely and clearly a fan website for the Pokémon franchise, but we also sometimes dive into parody, satire, criticism and commentary for Pokémon as well as other franchises within the “Nerd/Geek” Culture.
3. Gambling Pages, Groups, and Events must not facilitate or promote online gambling, online real money, games of skill, or online lotteries without our prior written permission.
- PA! does not promote nor facilitate any form of gambling, and absolutely has no plans to.
4. Inaccurately Tagged Content Pages, Groups, and Events must not inaccurately tag content or encourage users to inaccurately tag content.
- I tend not to use #hashtags in any of my posts to begin with, but once I open PA! up to include other staff members, I will make sure they are aware that they are not to inaccurately tag PA!-related content.
5. Incentivization Pages, Groups, and Events must not incentivize people to misuse Facebook features or functionality.
- We may poke fun about Facebook’s features and functionality, but even in those cases there is no intention to misuse the site’s features or functions.
- The only time I can think of that I “misused” Facebook’s features was in trying to create another PA! account when the previous PA! account was unpublished.
6. Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Pages, Groups, and Events must not promote drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers that are misleading, engaging in practices that are harmful to patients, or otherwise violating applicable laws.
- PA! is not a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment center nor provides any of those services.
Promotions on Pages, Groups, and Events
Communicating a Promotion If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion
- PA! does not currently offer any kind of promotion, nor has any plans to.
- However, if we decide to start offering promotions of any of our products or services, PA! will make sure that they operate according to both local, state and federal laws, as well as the rules that Facebook has laid out for them. And especially to point out that Facebook has nothing to do with that promotion and is therefore not responsible for it.
Collection of Data on Pages, Groups, and Events
Collecting Data From Users If you collect content and information directly from users, your Page, Group or Event must make it clear that you (and not Facebook) are collecting it, and must provide notice about and obtain user consent for your use of the content and information that you collect. Regardless of how you obtain content and information from users, you are responsible for securing all necessary permissions to reuse their content and information.
- While PA! is currently not collecting the personal data of our users, I have at least updated the site’s Legal page to cover what this website will agree to do if/when that time comes.
- PA!, the Owner, and/or staff members of PA! may also have accounts on a variety of social media accounts, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. PA!‘s policy of NOT collecting user data extends to those accounts on those websites.
1. Platform Policy Apps on your Page must comply with the Facebook Platform Policy.
- PA! does not produce any apps, but if/when we do, we will make sure it adheres to the Facebook Platform Policy.
2. Page Names Page names must not include profanity, excessively incorrect grammar or punctuation, and must not consist solely of generic terms or locations.
- The only name that PA!’s page will use is “Pokémon Aaah”, just without the exclamation point (!) since it is not allowed.
- The site MAY change from “Pokémon Aaah” to something else in the future, but that name will continue to fit the “PA!” initialism.
3. Content Visibility Content posted to a Page is public and can be viewed by everyone who can see the Page.
- I have no interest in keeping posts on Facebook private, or seen by only a select few. There are other platforms for that. All posts made to the PA! Facebook page will be public and visible.
4. Cover Photos and Profile Pictures Your Page’s cover photo or profile picture must not include a verified checkmark, and also must not include third-party products, brands or sponsors.
- PA!’s Profile Picture and Cover Photo will be graphics which we’ve created ourselves.
- PA!’s Profile Picture does include a “Poke Ball” icon, but that is not a “product”, “brand” nor “sponsor”. Otherwise the Profile Picture is our own site’s logo.
5. Showmarks Showmarks on Show Pages must accurately represent the show, and must not represent the parent entity or network.
- PA! is not a television show, so this is not applicable.
- That said, since Pokémon does have a television show, I will make sure no posts about the Pokémon television show has any misleading information, such as ensuring no one is led to believe that the network which airs the Pokémon TV show or its parent entity is affiliated with, or sponsors, that post. This doesn’t count if they actually DO happen to sponsor that posts, but in that case that sponsorship will be explicitly stated and be only for the posts they are sponsoring.
6. Online Pharmacies Pages must not promote the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals. Pages for online pharmacies may be permitted with Facebook’s prior approval.
- PA! does not and will not promote the sale of any kind of drug or pharmaceutical.
7. Age Gating You must restrict access by age using Facebook Page gating functionality as necessary to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
- PA!’s Facebook Page will be intended for all ages.
8. Post Preview When sharing a third party link from your Page, you must not edit any elements of the post preview.
- PA! will leave all post previews as they are intended to look like.
9. Upload Functionality You must not misuse Facebook’s upload functionality in connection with your Page
- PA! will not use the upload functionality for anything other than uploading pictures to the site.
10. Name Change and Merges Name changes and merges must not result in a misleading or unintended connection and must not substantially change the Page’s subject matter
- Should PA! change its name to reflect a change in the direction of the site, the new name for our Facebook Page will only reflect that.
11. Regulated Goods or Services Pages promoting the sale of regulated goods or services must comply with our Community Standards.
- While PA! does not currently sell any products, the products we do plan on selling will be all of an artistic nature. PA! has absolutely no intention of selling anything such as firearms and drugs, regardless of its legality in parts of the world.
12. Driving Traffic to Third Party Apps and Sites You must not accept anything of value to drive traffic to an app or site that engages in traffic arbitrage, or one that contains a disproportionate volume of ads relative to content, or content that is highly sexual, shocking, clickbait, or promotes scams.
- While PA! is not against sponsoring a product or website, we will properly review every sponsor and make sure they do not lead our visitors to any website that would be inappropriate for an all-ages Pokémon fanbase, nor any website that engages in scams, clickbait, or any other illicit subject matter.
13. Sharing Content Content you post to your Page may be reshared by other admins of the Page to other Facebook Products connected to the Page.
- Well, when that time comes, that will be OK with me.
14. Limited Originality of Content Pages must not post or share content that primarily consists of minimal original content.
- PA! is a site which celebrates the creation of new content. Effectively every post will therefore consist primarily of original content.
Branded Content on Pages
1. Branded Content Branded content must comply with the Facebook Branded Content Policies.
- The time will come when PA! begins to make branded content in relation to a business or corporate sponsor. We will therefore make sure it complies with Facebook’s Branded Content Policies, at least provided that we use Facebook to directly post a brand-related video to it.
The following Jobs Policies provide guidance on what types of employment posts are allowed on Facebook. These policies, along with our Community Standards, govern posts for employment, including all Job posts on Pages and in Groups.
- PA! is a fan website, so it does not offer nor provide jobs to anyone.
- If/when PA! decides to expand and therefore use Facebook to search for employees to hire to be on staff, then PA! will make sure to abide by these policies.
1. Automated Events Events cannot use automated means to generate event invites.
- PA! will make sure that all events posted on Facebook are done by a member of PA!’s staff and will be transparent to all people who see it.
OK so now that I went though both the Community Standards and Page Guideline… I STILL don’t see what my PA! Facebook accounts violated! The only thing I can think of is perhaps the rules regarding “authenticity”, as in perhaps Facebook’s automated systems thought I was misrepresenting myself as an authentic Pokémon partner or something… but that’s all I can think of. I didn’t post anything of a graphic nature, or post hate speech, or share something of an objective manner… I’m at a real loss!
That said, I hope that Facebook’s manual arbitration checker sees this as well as reverses the unpublishing… and for the sake of personal honor and principles, I wouldn’t mind if it took as long as it needed to, so long as it was reversed in the end.