Is this how Facebook fan pages work – beg then hurl abuse to get likes?
Invariably this is because they can’t quite get their heads around the idea that people have opinions and are (libel notwithstanding) free to express them. It is more often than not, either amusing or rather depressing to watch and it happens regularly.
But something we have noticed recently is a spate of people using a Facebook page to hurl abuse, more often than not, when they do not get their own way.
This happens quite regularly through the private message network which allows anyone who becomes a fan of a page to send a note to the administrators.
We like (no pun intended) to respond to messages from so-called fans as sometimes we’ll get the whiff of a story, or just because we want to be pleasant and communicate with readers.
It sometimes starts out rather innocuously.
“Hi. You’re invited to “like” my page! I already did yours! [Name of page]. Join us! Click ‘Like!’ Be a [description! (Free! No cost!) An international association (club) for people who love road trips and travel. Members worldwide. All seven (7) continents, including, the South Pole, Antarctica. Adding new members daily."
Fine, it's a pitch and we'll probably check it out at some point.
A few hours later:
"I cannot get your email sign up to work. I'd like to join your list."
"Try this page here: http://www.tnooz.com/newsletter/"
A few hours later again:
"Hi. I joined via your website last night, but the link on the FB page did not work. did you join our page yet? Thanks. Where are you located?"
"We are based all around the world actually."
A while later:
"My group is on all 7 continents, but I run it out of [place]. Where do you operate from? Did you join my page? Give it a Like! What is your name? You already can see mine.”
“We have multiple people operating the Tnooz FB page, depending on the day and time.”
Mr Persistent replies:
“Would you please do me a favor and put a name with your message and also “like” my page? I’ve already “liked” yours. This is very important to me.”
Starting to get a bit irked now – us:
“When I work online, I work as a person and I don’t hide behind my page. I like others to do the same. I also liked your page, and I like others to like mine back. Do I really have to explain this to you?
“I should not have to ask you to show me the same courtesy I show you. If you cannot share the road then we have nothing in common and I will delete you. You are acting very unprofessional and childish.”
At this point we chose to ignore Mr More-Than-Irritating, but he’s not giving up:
“I’m tired of having to ask you over and over to do what I did for you. Forget it. I’m deleting you and your page. You’re a waste of time. We have twice as many fans because we don’t just take, but we give back.”
This is fine, but is there any good reason to become so aggressive. We wonder if this is this how lots of folk react when someone doesn’t – shock-horror – like a Facebook page?
At the end of the day, we are a business media service that does not generally LIKE every other page its comes across. And, hey, we are generally sorry if we do not instantly respond to requests. After all, some of us like to get some sleep.
As a branded account, we work behind the Tnooz name on our FB pages, so to be hassled because we won’t give a name of the person handling the account over a given a period seems a bit extreme, but to then continually request that we like a page, seemingly for no reason other than trying to get “likes” is a bizarre and, one would presume, fruitless strategy.
When asked why we should, we did not get a valid reason for doing so (other than just trying to get “likes” to a page). Obviously (to some more than others, clearly) it would be devastating to lose an individual like but, really, the world will continue.
We do not like being attacked for declining to do something, not least because – as in this case – the tone suggests desperation.
This is not the first time it has happened and it perhaps demonstrates a growing trend that getting likes to Facebook fan pages is seemingly more important to some than providing genuine value back to a potential fan for doing so.
It’s a pity because, as it happens, we quite like the interaction and format Facebook page gives Tnooz as a brand. But we suspect we are not alone with this increasingly aggressive trend.
Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.