Are Facebook's Paid to Promote Posts Legal?

facebook_moneyWe have talked at length about Facebook and some of the ways they take advantage of their user base. One of the last ones we talked about directly was the paid promotions idea that they came up with. For a few dollars you can promote your advertising to reach more of the people that like your page. We have called this idea a lot of things (some not suitable for printing) and likened it to paid spam.

Now it seems that our frustration has slipped over to other sites and personalities. George Takei (Mr. Sulu from the Original Star Trek and a very popular Actor/Comedian/Director) has even gone so far as to post a workaround with a statement attached saying “To ensure you see ALL my posts (and not just what FB decides you can see),”. There are others that are complaining about the paid promotion with words like extortion thrown in with other less than polite words.

Now with all of the anger and the rumor of a limit to how many of your fans you can reach without paying we are wondering if the paid promotion service for Facebook pages is legal. Considering that it is giving advertisers an unfair advantage over the competition on Facebook and also using other Facebook members to push things it might very well be covered under a few consumer protection laws.
What made us think about this was an odd post that popped up with the name of one of the people we have friended on Facebook. It was an offer from Cirque du Soleil that we had no interest in and we have never liked the page, bit they are using Facebook’s paid promotion to extend their reach beyond the people that like the page to anyone that is friends with people that like the page!

I am sorry, but that is simply stepping over a few lines there. I wonder how long it will be before this one ends up in a court case like the one that Facebook just settled for $10 Million. Although we removed the image, the ad does show the profile picture and list the name of one of our friends on Facebook as a way of getting us to choose this offer or like the original page.

We stand by our original comment with something added in; Facebook’s paid promotion of posts is nothing more than paid spam that is now using (possible illegally) people’s images and names to promote services and certain sties above others; which makes it just a little anti-competitive and possibly anti-consumer. We might also throw in the fact that this could violate ownership rights of people to their own name and likeness…


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