Meta is updating its Community Feedback Policy to address people and businesses who abuse the rating system.
Moving forward, Facebook is going to apply stricter (opens in new tab) rules for what is allowed n Feedback messages. Apparently some users and companies were playing the Community Feedback system to mislead people or manipulate ratings. Meta wants to keep it as fair as possible and (ideally) make sure people have a positive experience on Facebook.
Prior to this update, Facebook went after manipulative reviews, but now it’s in writing Terms & Policies page (opens in new tab)† Enforcing fairness and transparency on the world’s largest social media platform sounds like a given – and it will take a long time – but better late than never.
The policy update includes five new changes that affect two features in Facebook Stores: Ratings & Reviews and Questions & Answers. A Facebook representative told Slice Mag that these features will only appear in the US version of Shops, so only US users will be affected. As for other countries, the rep said vaguely that Meta will share more information sometime in the future.
The first change is that users cannot now use reviews to “misrepresent”. [or] deceive people for money or gifts. Stimulated ratings or posts are no longer allowed unless it’s part of a larger brand deal (opens in new tab)† Meta defines incentive as a company that offers a cash reward or refund in exchange for leaving a good review on their page.
Then, a feedback post should be relevant to the reviewer’s company, product, and experience. Spam will also be moderated more heavily, according to Meta, including “posting high frequencies, sharing, [and] promote.” And the latest change is stricter enforcement of offensive content. For example, Meta doesn’t want users to threaten others or post graphical content to a group.
Meta states that these changes are designed to ensure that the platform remains a trusted place. It wants Community Feedback to maintain a degree of integrity and authenticity so that people can make informed purchases. As for businesses, Meta wants them to know that they are protected under the new rules from fraudulent claims or abuse.
The company generally asks the community to report any violations. Meta will then investigate the report. If you are found to be violating this policy, Facebook will remove your feedback review and may ban you for repeated violations. Companies that break the rules could be stripped of features such as access to product tags and listings.
Analysis: still room for improvement
Facebook has been pretty tough on fake reviews already. A report of the Competition and Markets Authority (opens in new tab) (CMA) in the UK says the platform has removed 16,000 groups that exchanged fake reviews on Facebook and Instagram. And back in March, Meta has filed a lawsuit (opens in new tab) against a person who owned a company that specialized in posting fake reviews.
Good for Meta for tackling these fake reviews, but the work is far from done. Phishing scams are a big problem† A recent report from cybersecurity firm PIXM reveals that as many as 2.7 million Facebook users have been affected by scams. It is important that you learn how to protect yourself against phishing. Fortunately, Slice Mag has a guide that teaches you how to protect yourself†