trolling
556 days ago
 

Is this how Facebook fan pages work – beg then hurl abuse to get likes?

Twitter and the comment sections of websites are well known for their so-called trolls – a not-so-cute term for those that use a public forum to attack or berate individuals or organisations.

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."

Us:

"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?"

Us:

"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.”

Us:

“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:

“Why?”

Reply:

“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

About the Writer :: Kevin May

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.

 

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. Daniel McBane - Funny Travel Stories

    It’s not just Facebook “like”, it’s all manner of social media (an other) numbers–it seems more and more people are focused solely on increasing their statistics and have forgotten to think about the meaning behind those statistics. A Facebook “like” should mean that you have gained a loyal follower who appreciates what you have to offer, not that you bribed and/or threatened someone who will never actually check out your site into “liking” your page.

     
  2. Michael

    Rather than a Brand/ Customer relationship this has become a popularity contest. Who gives a $@# if you like my page… you are never going to be an engaged customer to me if your only objective is to have me like your page.

    On the flipside, if you are begging for an audience do you think you are creating a customer? Ofcourse not! Anyone who likes a page out of pity has no respect for that brand and will never engage so why even bother…

     
  3. wftristan

    I read somewhere on the internet the other day that Facebook are monitoring private messages for exactly this type of behavior.
    We like stuff we like and if we don’t we don’t – certainly get a few of the like my Facebook page request a week and invariably they are deleted and blocked.

    Tristan

     
  4. Joe C.

    I’ve found that Facebook can be a great and easy tool for customer service. But like the rest of the Internet, its also a breeding pool for trolls who want to bully you into doing what they want you to do. This post is absolutely relevant, and demonstrates a professional way to deal with online trolling.

    My attitude has always been: I’ll like your page if you offer value, not because you followed me and asked. And if I get a Facebook follow or tweet that begs “follow me?” I generally report them as spammers. We’re better than that. I prescribe to Michael’s approach above: “Delete, Ban, Report.”

     
  5. Jennifer Kent

    Liking someone’s Page just because they Liked yours is not a sound business strategy. Similar to all those people who Follow you on Twitter so you will Follow them back.

    I have made a point of only Liking and Following those people or companies that really interest me and I expect nothing less of the people who Like my Facebook Page or Follow me on Twitter. Those people who Follow me because I provide them with something of value or interest are more likely to be my market and the group I am trying to connect with.

    Just my thoughts on the matter :)

     
    • Belinda McElroy

      Interesting that you should bring this up as I have been communicating with several innkeepers across the globe via a Linkedin Group, who have asked just that..to like each other. I have liked about a half dozen and they have done the same. But I don’t have time to sit on the computer all day.

       
  6. Heather Turner

    I get several of these per week, don’t feed the trolls, report/ban and delete. I bothered trying to engage with them in the beginning and they are relentless, not to mention they rarely have really liked your page in the first place.

     
  7. Michael

    Totally relevant post…unfortunately. We still allow people to post on our page but have seen a growing trend in trolls requesting likes. The worst kind post their spammy links as a comment on every page post.

    Delete…Ban…..Report.

     
  8. Sam Daams

    Messages like that are exactly why the delete button was invented. I have given up getting annoyed with trolls and just hit delete without ever responding nowadays (email/pm/fb/twitter etc). There’s only so many minutes in a day!

     
 
 

Email

  • (separate multiple emails with commas)
  • (optional)
  • (optional)
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Newsletter Subscription

Please subscribe now to Tnooz’s FREE daily newsletter.

This lively package of news and information from Tnooz’s web site provides a convenient digest of what’s happening in technology that drives the global travel, tourism and hospitality market.

  • Cancel