What Facebook isn’t saying about our post-death “Legacy” account

Oh my God, is Facebook creative or what!?!

I can’t help it.  Whenever Facebook rolls out of anything new, my go-to thought, is:

“Facebook’s MO is “There’s a sucker born every minute” now what?”

clown-goodSome businesses are experiencing big problems after spending high dollars to advertise on Facebook.  Their Facebook advertising dollars wind up going to fake, Facebook accounts.  Imagine carefully budgeting your business ad dollars only to discover Facebook sent them to essentially, a dead end.

The Business Insider wrote about the problem in a piece titled, “Man’s $600,000 Facebook disaster is a warning for small businesses.” The piece is a story about an ad campaign failure with Facebook counter-suing those suing Facebook.  It’s a nasty bit of finger pointing from all concerned.

However, for me the take-away came in just two sentences, (and aren’t you glad I read this stuff so you don’t have to?)  Here they are:

Facebook’s terms of service forbid third-party verification of its clicks. That’s something all advertisers should be aware of before they spend a penny on Facebook.”

No audits.  Facebook’s Terms of Service (TOS) clearly state:  No audits.  Zip.  Goose egg.  Bumpkiss.  Business owners have to take Facebook at their word about click numbers. That’s it.

Here’s an update on Facebook’s click verification about that lawsuit.

Okay, so things not going so swell for Facebook’s reputation.  News of this continues to leak out in the business world….and it turns out, there’s lots of videos about this – and by lots, I mean dozens.  (I recommend watching at least one.)

What to do? What to do?

Picture this:  The Scene:  Facebook headquarters

Facebook from sky

Facebook from the sky

10:00a.m.  A key marketing meeting:

Gary Briggs, Facebook’s Chief Marketing Officer:  “Okay, if we don’t win these lawsuits, and there is a concern about that, another concern is the judge might order us to both verify accounts, and additionally order we eliminate fake ones.  Not only will we lose millions in ad dollars; but we’ll have to spend a fortune in-house eliminating the fake accounts. It’s a lose-lose proposition and media will be all over it.”

(Room is silent)

Briggs:  So we have to find new outlets for ad dollars.  Suggestions?

Recent Hire:  What if we take the accounts of people who were alive and allow them to continue?

Briggs:  We sort of do that, but it’s been a nightmare.  Privacy rights.  Especially with parents of dead teenagers.

New Hire: Here’s a work-around. What if we allow the account holder to pre-arrange a designated person to carry on their account after death?  The account holders do the leg work. Then later on, the designated person verifies the death and the account transfers seamlessly, while remaining maintained.  As in active.  The obituary will satisfy a judge and the subsequent activity will work for advertisers.  We don’t have to mention the account is a Legacy account.  We can just say it’s a live account.

Briggs:  I like it.  Go on.

New Hire:  So with current account holders signing up for a legacy account; some as people do, will die.  We can use those accounts to show any judge we are operating in good faith.  But we must act fast to roll out a legacy feature in a way to make it seem like a very loving thing to do.  I think any ads should include a puppy so the consumer puppy with a roseforgets they’re doing the leg work.  And the win is no interruption in ad dollars.  We just don’t mention that thead dollars are going to the dead.

Briggs:  Brilliant!  Call legal.  What’s your name again?  You’re getting a bonus!

Meeting concludes.

Shortly thereafter Facebook’s “Legacy Account Option” is announced with great media fanfare, and without a single reporter inquiring as to what prompted the “newest” feature.

In conclusion

Often when people die someone says, “They left big shoes to fill.”  This would be especially true in the case of the legendary, David Carr, who died very suddenly, tonight.

So I gotta ask.  Does Facebook want to pour big advertising dollars into our dead shoes?

Of course they do! It was a rhetorical question!

The real question is:  Do we want to be used by Facebook to dupe small business owners?

Do we want, for the sake of our ego, to give Facebook the power to fill our “big shoes” with Facebook ad dollars?  Because I suspect only profits are behind motive behind the “Legacy” psychology of filling big shoes.

A sneaky way for Facebook to skirt the needs of small business owners who might not know their ad dollars are pouring into a “Legacy Account.”

I’m not down with the kind of legacy that feels more like Facebook would be making clown shoes out of any good intentions.

And if that’s true,

clownshoes-goodFrankly, I prefer heels.

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About bonnie russell

It's not about me....but working with and sometimes against attorneys, I *do* find interesting people doing interesting things.
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