According to Facebook the social network has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to dealing with spammers and it tries its best to stamp out all spam with the site's (somewhat flimsy) content moderation.
With no effective, scalable UGC moderation in place, Facebook relies on a reporting system to remove spam manually once it has been brought to the attention of their online moderation team. The vast amount of spam on Facebook suggests that this method of social media moderation is far below par for such a huge website, although there is a bit of a conspiracy theory circulating the web too...
Some spammers believe Facebook deliberately turns a blind eye in a bid to increase traffic to the site. According to a recent report in The Guardian, a team of researchers in Italy have estimated that Facebook spam generates about $200 million every year and spammers argue that although annoying, they do create a lot of free content for the site - something Facebook may not want to put a stop to.
However, I find it hard to believe that the site values quantity over quality - why annoy precious users with pointless content? If anything this would drive them away rather than keep them hooked.
Viewing spam in our own news feeds is irritating, but for brands it can prove downright damaging. A brand page littered with spam becomes unattractive to users and therefore receives fewer fans and less engagement. Social media management and moderation companies like Crisp pick up the slack by detecting and removing spam almost instantly, 24/7. This means fans won't be subjected to any annoying or inappropriate content when they interact with a brand via social media.
Whether Facebook actually does ignore certain spammers or simply struggles to deal with the vast quantities of spam on the site, one thing is certain - brands need more protection than the site provides to preserve their online reputations and cutting out spam results in a much healthier brand page.
If this rather strange spammer conspiracy theory was proven and Facebook did admit to being lenient on certain spammers to increase traffic, it could easily argue that the only reason spam has any effect at all is because we like and interact with it… which would mean Facebook is actually just giving us what we want and the spam is all our own fault! (SHOCK HORROR!)
If this were the case, there would seem to be a bit of a friendly fire situation going on - whether it be Facebook ‘betraying’ us for its own agenda or us basically spamming ourselves by giving in to the lure of funny pictures with witty captions and animals dressed as people (like the sophisticated life forms that we are).
Is spam really our guilty pleasure? Or do we just devour it because it’s plonked right there on our plate? Either way, Crisp makes the whole social media experience much more palatable.