Category: Social Media

Facebook and Bad Adverts

Facebook seems to be a little worried about the abundance of fake and/or misleading adverts on its platform.

These adverts usually occur when a scammer takes over someone’s Facebook account and pays for a lot of adverts using the stolen account.

Those adverts can be anything, but are typically for:

  • Fake products
  • Real products but of very poor quality
  • A pop-up business that will disappear before customers have time to complain
  • Scam pages that pretend to be government or FBI or major retailers but simply steal the users confidential information
  • Clickbait pages

Facebook say the problem is ‘low quality’ adverts  and they give three examples:

  1. Engagement Bait

These are your typical ‘like and share’ posts, re-purposed as adverts. Facebook does not like them as they can show false popularity.

  1. Withholding Information

Adverts designed to make people click by using clickbait are also disliked as they are fake content.

  1. Sensationalized Language

Adverts which use exaggerated headlines or lead to content not matching the headline are poor. The use of superlatives is fine where they are justified by the content.

Facebook says it will penalise anyone who infringes the rules.


Facebook say that adverts considered to be low-quality will see reduced distribution in the advert auction, or will be disapproved.

Multiple adverts marked as low-quality may impact the performance of all adverts from that advertiser.

If you are running a Facebook campaign and use what Facebook consider to be low quality adverts then your campaign will likely cost more and perform worse than if you create better more honest adverts.

If you have any experiences with Facebook scams and problems do let me know, by email.

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Social Networking and Identity Theft

Billions of people use social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Tik Tok and more.

Many people share lots of information about themselves and sometimes that can give fraudsters what they need to scam them, specifically to steal their identity.

Identity theft is where a fraudster acquires confidential information about you – sufficient that she can access your online accounts, take out credit cards or loans in your name, commit crimes and use your name etc.

This can be a devastating experience for some and once your identity has been stolen it’s very difficult to reclaim it without a lot of help.

How Identity Theft Can Happen Through Social Networking

To make full use of social media you need to divulge some information about yourself but you should be aware of the following risky activities:-

  • In Settings – choosing privacy to be “low” is risky
  • Accepting invitations to connect from unknown people
  • Downloading free APPS – games etc.
  • Sharing your password
  • Clicking on links that lead you to other websites, even if the link was sent to you by a friend or posted on your friend’s profile
  • Clicking on links in phishing messages or replying to them

E.g. A woman receives a message from one of her friends on social media recommending a cat video for which there is a link. She trusts her friend so clicks on the link, but it doesn’t bring up a video. She didn’t know that her friends profile had been hacked and taken over and the link was to a malicious website. A computer virus has  now downloaded to her computer from that website.

She later finds that emails have gone out in her name to all of her contacts asking them to click on the malicious link.

Be careful and stay safe.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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Keep Your Privacy on Facebook

Social media is designed for you to share but you should take care to set the privacy levels so you know who can see your information and postings.

1. Click in the top right of Facebook and select Settings.

2. Click Privacy in the left column.

For other things you share on Facebook, you can select the audience before you share.

To go to Privacy Checkup:

1. Click at the top of any page on Facebook (example: your homepage).

2. Select Privacy Checkup.


Things you can review in Privacy Checkup:

  • Who can see what you share. This section guides you through things like:
  • Choosing who can see certain information on your profile, like your phone number, email, birthday and relationship status.
  • Updating who can see your future and past posts.
  • Reviewing who you’ve blocked on Facebook. For example, you can add people to your blocked list. Learn more about what happens when you block someone on Facebook.
  • How to keep your account secure. This section will guide you through things like:
  • Updating your password. Learn more about creating a strong password.
  • Turning on alerts to help let you know if someone logs into your account from a place we don’t recognize.
  • How people can find you on Facebook. This section lets you choose who can:
  • Send you friend requests.
  • Look you up on Facebook by your phone number or email address.
  • Your data settings on Facebook. This section lets you review and remove recently used apps and websites from other companies that you’ve used Facebook to log into.

Other ways to manage your privacy:

  • Learn more about how to control who can see what you share. From here, you can learn how to:
  • Select an audience for your posts.
  • Change the audience for your past posts.
  • Edit basic info on your profile and choose who can see it.

Basic Privacy Settings

In Facebook on a PC, click on the top right menu item and select Settings then Privacy and you should see as below.

You choose who can see your postings, profile etc. The choices are Public, Friends, Specific Friends or Only Me.

Set “Who Can Contact Me”. The choices are Everyone or just Friends and Friends of Friends

Set “Who Can Lookup Me Up” and whether you want search engines outside of Facebook to find your profile.

That’s all quite straightforward. Basically you decide if you want the world to see what you put on Facebook or restrict it to friends.

The Audience Selector Tool

When creating a new post on your timeline, there is a drop down box which allows you to determine the audience for the post. You can choose Public, Friends, Friends Except (you pick which friends to exclude), Specific Friends (you pick which Friends to include) or Only Me.

You’ll find an audience selector tool most places you share status updates, photos and other things you post. Click the tool and select who you want to share something with.

The selector tool remembers the audience you shared with the last time you posted something and uses the same audience when you share again unless you change it.


To set or modify your profile information, click the ‘Update Info button on bottom right of your header photo. You can then set a new header photo, profile photo, location, family and relationships, schools, professional skills etc.

Everyone can see this public information, which includes your name, profile picture, cover photo, gender, username, user ID, and networks.

To see what your profile looks like to other people, use the View As tool.


Only you and your friends can post to your Timeline. When you make a post you can set the audience. When other people post on your Timeline, you can control who sees it by choosing the audience of the Who can see what others post on your Timeline setting.

As you edit your info, you can control who sees what by using the audience selector.

Privacy Check

Facebook lets you make a quick health check on privacy settings. Click on the question mark (or maybe a padlock symbol) on top right and select Privacy Check.

1) Posts – As explained below, this will explain how to control your privacy settings for every post.

2) Apps – Who sees your activity within APPS from outside suppliers

3) Profile – How much personal information is to be shown

Use Facebook wisely and don’t give any information to people without considering the possible

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How Facebook Creates Insights Data

You many have wondered how Facebook puts together the data you can see under Insights on your Facebook page.

Here’s a summary of what they do.

Page Insights are aggregated statistics that are created from certain events logged by Facebook servers when people interact with Pages and the content associated with them.

Actions that are logged, include: –

  • Viewing a Page, post, video, story or other content associated with a Page
  • Interacting with a story
  • Following or unfollowing a Page
  • Liking or unliking a Page or post
  • Recommending a Page in a post or comment
  • Commenting on, sharing or reacting to a Page’s post (including the type of reaction)
  • Hiding a Page’s post or reporting it as spam
  • Hovering over a link to a Page or a Page’s name or profile picture to see a preview of the Page’s content
  • Clicking on the website, phone number, Get Directions button or other button on a Page
  • Having a Page’s event on screen, responding to an event including type of reaction, clicking on a link for event tickets
  • Starting a Messenger communication with the Page
  • Viewing or clicking on items in Page’s shop

Information about the action, the person taking the action, and the browser/app used for it include the following:

  • Date and time of action
  • Country/city (estimated from IP address or imported from user profile for logged-in users)
  • Language code (from browser’s http header and/or language setting)
  • Age/gender group (from user profile for logged-in users only)
  • Website previously visited (from browser’s http header)
  • Whether the action was taken from a computer or mobile device (from browser’s user agent or app attributes)
  • Facebook user ID (for logged-in users only)

Much of this data is only recorded if the user has a Facebook account but some is still logged for anonymous users.

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Report Facebook Adverts as Scams

Facebook promised £3 million to help support anti-scam services as well as introducing a tool to report scam adverts on the UK version of Facebook.

However, this is all due to Martin Lewis, a TV presenter and journalist who advises people on financial issues. He took Facebook to court for repeatedly failing to stop scammers using his name to advertise scam products.

Scammers often use the names of well-known people to make their offers seem more attractive and legitimate and Facebook has done very little to stop this practice or clamp down when this is reported.

Lewis sued Facebook in April 2018 they settled him by agreeing to donate £3m to Citizens Advice and create a new scam advert reporting tool.

Now, Facebook has launched the button on its UK site to allow people to report scam adverts. This lets users click the three dots ‘. . .‘ on the top right of an advert and then select the ‘Report Ad‘ function, followed by ‘Misleading or scam advert‘. Then, they have to confirm that they want to send a detailed scam report.

This is a big win for Lewis, who had his name hijacked and reputation damaged and had to spend $100,000 facing the social media giant down in court and turned the whole thing into something positive that will help consumers. Nice one Martin.

Well done Facebook, but shame you only agreed to the action because of a court case.

If you have any experiences with scammers or fake adverts on Facebook – do let me know, by email.

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How Real are Pictures on Instagram

Would you take pictures inside someone else’s home then put the pictures on Instagram and claim it’s your house?

A recent survey showed that one in six of us have done just that – posted pictures of other people’s better homes and pretended it’s ours.

More than a quarter of the 2,000 people polled at the Ideal Home Show admitted to being so envious of images of friends’ properties on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, that it made them miserable.

How Real are the Pictures?

The vast majority of the photos on Instagram are genuine in that there is a real object being photographed but a significant minority are created by Photoshop type techniques or are amended so much so as to provide an unrealistic image.

Instagram permeates all walks of modern life, and many of you may be familiar with the fine art of employing just the right photographic filter to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

However, many of the photographs are deliberately deceptive so as to give a more positive image of the picture taker. This can be through the use of filters, Photoshop removal of blemishes or even of unwanted people in the pictures.

Don’t base decisions or your moods on photos on Instagram as they may very well be fake.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

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