The purpose of this post is to explain WHY it’s wrong for Facebook to block our content, and how to protest with us (without taking a lot of time).
Until they stop blocking our site, I am going to link to this post in the P.S. line of every blog post I make, both on my personal site – and on my Empower Network blog – the ‘P.S.’ line over a long time, will be sufficient to make our voice heard – and I would encourage you to do the same.
The good news is, the Facebook ‘slap’ didn’t impede our growth – we grew our traffic and sales by 25% in the 31 days following them removing our traffic.
If you’re an affiliate of Empower Network, you can add the same P.S. line to your blog posts, and if you structure your link like the following, leads, traffic, and sales will still track to you:
Just put ?id=yourusernamegoeshere at the end of the link to this page.
Obviously, replace ‘yourusernamegoeshere‘ with your actual Empower Network username to make the link work
IMPORTANT: This post is not distasteful complaining, because up until now, I’ve gone through the appropriate channels to attempt to contact Facebook to no avail. I filed a Better Business Bureau complaint, I attempted contacting them through every form, I had every number called – I networked through their organization until someone in the top 5 VP’s of Facebook was directly contacted, and the sum total of response has been:
(By the way, if you don’t know what I’m talking about – hit the ‘like’ button and see what happens – if we’ve removed it by the time you see this, copy the link, paste it on your wall, and see the message that you get. Or, if you still see Facebook comments – we’re removing them this month – try and make a comment on any page of this site, you can’t even interact.)
Here’s my main issue:
They didn’t even send a courtesy email to the webmaster email address explaining the purpose of the block, or contact the company in any way. When Google slapped tens of thousands of PPC accounts in the home business niche – they at least sent an email. AND, they haven’t responded, at all, to about 1,000 contact requests.
If you are with Facebook Corporate and see this post, you can click the Contact Us link in the footer of every single page, we are a REAL COMPANY, with an office in St Petersburg Florida, with more than 25 employees – that actually answers the phone.
So what I’m going to do, in good taste – is tell you why I like Facebook, why I think they’re going downhill (as it’s reflected in their stock) and – how you can help us be heard to a Giant corporation, that obviously doesn’t give a shit about Freedom, free speech, and your ability to choose for yourself what you will, and will not share.
First, the good:
The reason I like Facebook, is because the idea of Facebook is brilliant. It allows you to instantly communicate, in real time with the people that you love.
It’s easy to share, and easy to communicate – if you’re 87 years old, or 15, you can figure it out in about 15 minutes.
I like it because my friends are on it.
I like it because my business partners are on it.
I like it because it’s innovative, well designed, and has BRILLIANT technology.
I like it because they try shit that NOBODY else will try.
Facebook has started social revolutions, it has empowered causes – it has been responsible for social change, viral attraction to ideas when their time has come – and to be truthful – I love to use it.
That doesn’t mean that I’ll keep using it, though, when they operate without a heart.
HOWEVER, I also think that Facebook is lacking business ethics, and think that they have gotten big enough, to where the rules that made them great don’t apply to them anymore. They have become heartless, and ruthless – and if they do something to hurt your livelihood – they don’t care.
There is no resolution process for business.
For example, with us – it’s not 2 random guys in their Mom’s basement running the company – our company provides food on the table for 25 full time employees, does business in over 100 countries, and has over 47,000 PAID CUSTOMERS writing their own unique content on this site every day, through niche blogs that are scattered throughout the domain.
For an example, go to Google Search (opens in new window) – you can find over a million examples of pages indexed in search – unique content from tens of thousands of members.
Why did they block us? I don’t know. (Remember – zero communication). Maybe one of our 47,000 members – or several – were spamming – maybe a competitor gave them false information to try and get us blocked.
Maybe a $10 an hour employee in india hit a button that says “block” because they didn’t like us – the truth is? Who knows.
If one member, or even a group were spamming – is that cause to block 47,000 members generating their own, unique content?
If a competitor, or a ‘super nanny’ (my term for people who think it’s their responsibility to police free speech) gives incomplete information – is that just cause to block a social movement of people who LOVE what they do?
I’m not talking about spamming groups, spamming people’s walls – or sending random email invitations to look at our site – I hate spam as much as Facebook – I’m talking about giving the fucking right to people to share what they choose, with who they choose, in the way that the damned internet was meant to create.
If people want to block a spammer, there’s a button to block them on Facebook – we don’t need super nannies making our decisions for us – the timeline algorithms were written to bring what is MOST POPULAR to the timelines of people who want to see them, and adjust with people’s personalities – we don’t need fucking police to tell us what we can, and cannot say.
If you think – Facebook – that we’re somehow manipulating people into liking and sharing – look at the interaction in the Facebook comments on virtually every post in this front blog – look at the data in our Facebook group, which used to be located here:
And TELL ME if that is not one of the most interactive groups for that size that exists online.
Do you have a problem with something that we were doing? Then create a RESOLUTION PROCESS, and work with us. We have now sent you thousands of messages, sharing that we are willing to work within modified guidelines – yet nothing in response.
Is that a company that people should be investing in? A company that treats businesses like a fly on the wall? A company that will turn off a MASSIVE sites interaction entirely, without even a courtesy email or a resolution process? A company that acts like they’re the government, and with a push of a button – determining what we can, and cannot say with no resolution process that anyone read?
That’s a company that you shouldn’t buy stock in, unless they change.
That’s a site that you shouldn’t interact on – unless they allow you to say what you choose.
That’s a corporation that has lost it’s vision, and is scrambling to appease stock holders, and doesn’t understand the basic values of business.
So personally, I’m taking my business to Google Plus, you can click that link, and join our group. Why am I doing that?
Because Google, unlike Facebook, understands and respects business.
(Their stock is doing good, too.)
Maybe it’s going public, and trying to appease investors rather than thinking about the people that’s caused Facebook to lose their passion for Freedom – whatever it is – it needs to stop, or myself, and millions of other people are taking our conversations elsewhere.
Here’s the main issue that I have – and the reason why I’m writing this post – is that I LOVE (and am passionate about) FREEDOM.
I believe that you, as a human being, are smart enough to make decisions for yourself.
I believe that it is not the job of the Government – or corporations – to make decisions for you, as long as you are not harming another human being.
I believe that ALL greatness comes from the exercise of TRUE FREEDOM, and that the only way we can change the world is by lifting you up – to live your dreams – by the power of your own will, your own decisions, your own intelligence – the power and virtue of your spirit.
And NOTHING (ever) good comes from the unjust exercise of control by a third party.
Facebook knows this – for example, there’s a group on Facebook called “Cancer is Funny Cause People Die”. That’s pretty stupid, and childish to put on Facebook – but the fact is, the author of the page hasn’t broken any laws – and if you don’t want to see the page, you can ignore it and block it from your timeline.
There’s an army of Super Nannies trying to get petitions signed to take the page down – but that is not Facebook’s responsibility, or right. We, as a people – have a right to Freedom. Any control of the right of Freedom of Speech is unjust control – regardless of the source.
The Game Plan:
So here’s what I want you to do – we’re going to protest Facebook together, and not spend a lot of time on it (we’ve got more important things to do) but we’ll do it together as a community.
First, with every blog post you make on our site, or that you like – copy the link, and paste it with a unique message on your timeline. You can add ?id=username to the end of any link on the front blog, and track all traffic to you.
You’ll get a message like this:
Click the blue link that says ‘let us know‘ which is also available here:
https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=block_appeal – it looks like this:
Every time Facebook blocks your links, that you want to share, let them know your thoughts on it. Don’t take a lot of time – just complain consistently, every time. It takes 5 seconds, and if more, and more people do it, it will help.
Second, if you’re a customer of Empower Network, or an affiliate – Facebook slapping your blog has impacted your business, and you have a right to complain, independently to the Better Business Bureau.
Right now, Facebook has an A+ rating, and a total of around 2,000 complaints or so over the last 6 years. Their rating will go down if all of you file a unique complaint, so I’m going to tell you how to do it successfully.
This ONLY needs to be done once, and it takes around 15-20 minutes. After that, you’ll need to go back and forth with Facebook, and argue with them if they give you a bull shit answer.
Probably, they’ll say they’re sorry, and you’ve broken their spam guidelines – you haven’t. Simply respond back, and explain why you haven’t – and why your blog is comprised of your own unique content, that you have the right to like and share.
Also, when filing your complaint, I want you to link to a unique blog post, that you’ve written on your own blog – that has content entirely written by YOU. Explain in the complaint that this is your blog, that you’re a customer, and that you haven’t broken their spam laws.
Facebook doesn’t block twitter, or blogger if one person is spamming – neither should they block your site on Empower Network – they should be contacting our company to have us deal with the spammer internally.
It was a bit difficult to figure out how to complain against Facebook when we did it as the main company – it’s easy.
Just go to http://www.bbb.org and select USA, if you’re in the states, and international if you live elsewhere. Then, click on ‘For Consumers’ or ‘For Business’ – you can complain as either. Remember, if you’re an affiliate here, you can complain as either a consumer of Facebook (using their product) or as a business owner (Facebook blocking your independent traffic for no reason, without cause).
Click on ‘Complaints‘ and you should see a screen that looks like this:
Click on ‘General Consumer Complaints‘ which you can also access directly by clicking the following link:
You’ll have to go through a few screens – just answer honestly, and give unique answers – the screen looks like this:
The tricky part is actually finding Facebook (it took me a minute). Just copy this information when you get to the following screen, and hit ‘search‘:
Facebook’s corporate address is:
Facebook Corporate Office 1601 Willow Road Menlo Park, Ca 94025
I would also encourage you to mail Facebook a letter, personally written – telling them that you complained, why, and why they should unblock our site.
Select this, and then the Better Business Bureau will redirect you to the BBB of the Gold Gate & Northern California’s online complaint system. You can also contact the local division of the BBB and complain with them directly – here:
BBB of the Golden Gate & Northern California 1000 Broadway, Suite 625 Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 844-2000 email@example.com
When you see this screen – just select ‘no’ on everything, none of this applies to what you’re complaining about:
The rest – you can handle on your own.
A couple of important points – explain how you’re creating your own unique content, that you own your own blog on our site, that it’s YOUR SITE, and give a link to a post you tried to share on Facebook, and how the site is neither spammy or unsafe – it is a content site with tens of thousands of active users, including yourself.
If you’re not a member of Empower Network – that’s ok, you can complain too, Facebook shouldn’t be telling you what you can, and cannot share without your consent.
That’s it for the complaining – honestly, I hate doing this, but it’s the only way we’ve actually had a real person at Facebook respond – if they would talk to us, or respond, we’d be in communication to resolve the issue personally.
Third, join our Google Plus Group, we’ll be posting daily communication and updates there, rather than Facebook. Please – don’t be spammy on Google
(or Facebook, when they let us back on – spamming doesn’t work, and is annoying, anyways)
Every post we put up, hit the Plus One button, and share it with your circles on Google Plus – invite your teams to the group if you’re in Empower Network, and we’ll keep you posted on updates.
Also, join Twitter, and share every blog post, and your personal content on Twitter – if Facebook is going to block what you want to share – stop using them.
I think the majority of this problem comes from Facebook not realizing how powerful of a social movement we are – if you ARE NOT in Empower Network, join in on the protest. If we allow big corporations to control our voice – we all suffer. Here’s a picture of our team at our last event:
There are enough of us to make a difference
Fourth, link back to this post in a P.S. line on every blog post you make from now, until Facebook either unblocks our site, or we lower their stock value – do it on your Empower Network blog, and also on your personal sites – a tiny P.S. like this will do:
P.S. Facebook is starting to block Free Speech, and I invite you to Protest with me – just go here, and follow the assignments:
Simply link to this page, and add ?id=yourusernamegoeshere to the end of the link
If you’re not in Empower Network – feel free to write an article on what you think of this, and link back, and participate in the protest. The last thing that any of us want, is the world’s largest social network deciding what we can, and can’t share – it’s an abomination to freedom.
Fifth, focus your energy on other stuff, and don’t be emotional about it. Our whole company grew by 25% last month, right after Facebook slapped our domain. It’s not a big deal.
Sixth, keep sharing on Facebook with one of the workarounds – although you can’t post links directly, you can post them indirectly.
You can post a link to a YouTube video, and in the description, link to your Empower Network posts.
You can write an email in Aweber, and link to your Aweber posts – Facebook isn’t blocking Aweber.
You can make a Twitter post – and directly link on Facebook to your Tweet. Facebook isn’t blocking Twitter.
We have a Facebook app that also allows indirect posting – you can use this, and if they block it, we’ll find another back door.
You can create an account on Blogger, and also post your content on there, linking back to your Empower Network blog – Facebook isn’t blocking Blogger.
The point is – they can’t stop you from doing what you want – you can ask in our Google Plus Group about some more strategies for sharing whatever the fuck you want – regardless of whether the ‘Super Nannies‘ allow it.
The Fact is – even the corporate Giants can’t stop a voice who’s time has come.
We are Empower Network.
We will not be stopped.
Let’s lock arms – and Fight the FORCES of EVIL
(in this case – it’s Facebook)
-David Wood “The Facebook Slayer” (Just like Buffy, but with Facebook)
P.S. We’re in the process of re-vamping our comment system to something that’s not going to shut us off on a whim, that’s better than Facebook anyways – in the meantime – share this on Google Plus, start conversations about it, write reviews about it and link back, P.S. line it in all of your posts, and otherwise keep this present in front of new people.
…if you’re ready to RELEASE YOUR INNER BADASS – click here!
P.P.S. If you’re an employee of Facebook, I’d be happy to re-write this article if we can resolve the issue – we are a real company with people who actually respond – just click the Contact Us link now.