Is Facebook Extorting Gambling Companies?
It should also be noted that this article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the staff at CAP.
The following (true) story shouldn’t come as a surprise to most affiliates, and I’m sure we can stir up a few strong reactions to Facebook from this audience– from its company value dropping to how it takes liberties with the iGaming community.
In the past, affiliates had a more positive reaction to Facebook, like when we were allowed to advertise. However, the Facebook’s latest swipe at the iGaming world appears to be nothing short of extortion. Their latest “initiative” seems to deal with them allowing real money gaming and wanting to cut out people by charging them to run a gaming-related Fan Page.
Andy Edwards, a long time affiliate (madaboutbingo.com), and white label owner (madaboutslots.co.uk), recently received an email regarding the Fan Page from Facebook (for the latter of his sites) after contacting them to ask why it was removed.
Now you may think it was some sort of licensing issue. Nope. He offered to provide Facebook with a copy of his license. Did he buy spammy Likes? Nope.
Then what could have caused them to shut down his fan page? Simple. They want him to spend £10,000 per month for the privilege of having a Fan Page. It gets worse:
For awhile, I thought this must be some sort of racket, but apparently Siam does seem to be a legitimate employee of the company. Now Andy goes on to make a fair point as ask why he is singled out. He was told the following:
This is starting to look like Facebook targeting people who they think can pay this and it is likely that we are going to see an awful lot more of this. So, if you’re using your Facebook community frequently, be prepared to shell out £10k a month or lose it.
Added to this, Facebook suggest that Andy can no longer advertise with Facebook unless he spends more than $30,000.
Now just to put the final nail in the coffin of this, we have the following screen shot of Facebook’s Help section on this issue. As you can see, it does not mention anywhere that a certain amount of money needs to be spent.
Just for good measure, Facebook’s Ad guidelines (as you can see by my find bar in the following screensh0t), there are six mentions of the word “gambling,” all of which appear on this page. None mentions any cash restrictions on advertising.
When I checked, there were no mentions to gambling whatsoever in their terms on http://www.facebook.com/legal/terms.
So, aside from the fact that Facebook is essentially in a position to do whatever the hell they want, is this fair? No. Is this in breach of their Ts and Cs? Not that I can see.
Essentially Facebook is now in the racket of extorting their leverage in industries where they can afford it. Well, no luck this time, Facebook. As far as I know, Mad About won’t be paying these extortionate fees any time soon.
However, my real concern is how long before we see this in other industries? How long before your local takeaway is being extorted for a few hundred pounds every month which they can’t afford?
Let me know in your comments below!