Many of you have dealt with them. The pain in the butt customer who had a bad day at work, kicked the dog, then wrote a lousy review about your dealership on Facebook.
First, you were bewildered. Then, you were pissed. Finally, you decided to reach out to Facebook about the fraudulent review – only to find that Facebook really doesn’t give a damn.
Good news. It’s all going to be changing soon.
Our agency found itself in a similar situation recently – and it’s entirely my fault. I’ll take responsibility for this one.
Two pieces I wrote went massively viral – An Open Letter To College Crybabies From A CEO and Enjoy Your Transgender Bathrooms. We Just Lost America. Millions of views and dozens of national media appearances later, a handful of entitled little brats (no, I don’t draw out controversy at all…) decided to create fake accounts and leave a few nasty and clearly fake reviews about us on Facebook. (Because as the “social justice warriors” will tell you, words hurt, DAMNIT.)
I responded on behalf of the company and reached out to Facebook. Considering we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each month on Facebook and Instagram advertising, and considering the accounts were clearly fake accounts created by internet trolls, I figured it would be a quick and easy process:
My name is Kyle Reyes – I’m the CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. We’re an agency that works directly with businesses – including many of which we represent the advertising for on Facebook.
Last week, a piece that I personally wrote was published on a media outlet. Over the weekend, a number of people who didn’t like the piece – and who have never heard of us or done business with us before – attacked us, leaving fake one star reviews. As a matter of fact, you can see that they were created with fake accounts. Each of these one star reviews is in violation of your terms. What do I need to do to have these removed?
The response was less than I expected, to say the least:
Thank you for emailing our Facebook Global Marketing Solutions Team.
I understand that you are seeing false reviews on your Page. Ratings and reviews must follow the Facebook Community Standards, focus on the product or service offered by the Page and be based on personal experience.
Reviews that don’t follow these guidelines should be reported and may be removed.
You can report a review by following the steps below:
– Go to the review and click in the top right corner
– Click “I don’t like this review”
– Follow the on-screen instructions
If you have any additional questions please let me know. Thank you again for contacting Facebook Ad Support.
That was all well and good, but we had already done that (not to mention responded to the “reviews”).
One of my employees reached back out to Facebook:
We have been able to successfully “report” the reviews, the issue is in that there is no place to explain why we are reporting the reviews.
There have been several reviews posted on the page that seem to be fake profiles (just created the day of the review). These reviews have come in response to an article the Kyle has written, and as a matter of fact have never done business with Kyle or the company what so ever. I hope that we can come to a resolution for this matter.
Thank you for reaching back out to our team. The reporting itself will help trigger a manual review by our Pages team who do not take these types of reports lightly. If after about a week you do not see any changes please reach back out to us. If you have any additional questions please let me know. Thank you again for contacting Facebook Ad Support.
I’ll save you the next two months worth of back and forth and share with you now Facebook’s most recent message:
Thank you for reaching back out. Good news and bad news. Our Pages team is working on a complete overhaul of the ratings and reviews system. As a result, we’re unable to remove the review from your Page unless someone with the Policy team is able to review the posts. If you have any additional questions please let me know. Thank you again for contacting Facebook Ad Support.
At this point, I reached out to our ad rep – which, frankly, I should have done months ago. The rep confirmed that they are in fact working on a massive overhaul of the system. The way that scores will be calculated, reviews will be posted, reputations will be managed and fraudulent activity will be dealt with should be shifting significantly in the coming months.
Here’s the silver lining. A couple of prospective clients saw the BS reviews – and my response to them – and thought how we handled it was great. One point, us – zero points, internet trolls.
So on the bright side, it sounds like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – and I promise to keep you informed when we get the details.