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August 24, 2018

How to recognize spam in a Facebook group


If you've spent much time on social media, such as Facebook, you've probably seen spam. It's unwanted commercial activity. And some of it can be tricky to spot, but most of it is easy to recognize.

Spam isn't anything new with the internet, or Facebook. It goes way back to when ads were posted all over the place in cities. Remember seeing the signs that said "Post No Bills"? That was an old-fashioned way of saying that ads were not to be posted there. The language has changed, and "bills" are now "spam", and it's done the same way, by putting up a large quantity of ads that just pretty much make a mess of things.

Spam should not be confused with regular advertising. I'm an old marketing guy, and I know that if a company didn't promote or advertise its business or service, chances were very slim that people would just accidentally find them. So reputable companies advertise. But reputable companies don't spam.

If you're in a group, for example of Phoenix history, and you see something that just appears to have no connection to what is being discussed, it's probably spam. Look especially to see if it has a link. But don't confuse a genuine comment with a link with spam. On the internet hyperlinks are used to help people find more information. And depending on the rules of the group, things that are for sale, such as books, can be allowed, along with the links on where to buy them, and that isn't spam.

If you see spam, simply report it to an administer of the group, and they'll delete it. Spam is created by the millions by 'bot (robot programs) so no one is going to be offended if their spam comment goes away. And yes, there are people who spam, along with the robots, but they're doing it in such high volume that they don't go back and check - they're on to spamming as many places as they can in that day, and they get paid for volume. Just like people in the old days were given hundreds of "bills" (ads) to post all over the place, in spite of the signs that said "Post No Bills".

I hope this helps. And I hope you can see why spam is never going to go away. It's an annoyance, but it's part of what happens anytime a group is formed. As a group member, you can just keep your eyes open, and report it when you see it.

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