Lots of Owners advertise various types of "competitions" on the social media Facebook site and yet have no idea that Facebook actually have regulations regarding these... and for the most - their set guidelines and regulations are being broken on regular occasions, which could result in some fairly serious consequences - including criminal prosecution!
ETK have "translated" the Facebook regulations into plain & simple guidelines which you do need to be aware of if you are either running a competition, or entering one on Facebook!
These Facebook Regulations have been updated in January 2015.
Section E refers directly to competitions:
If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
- The official rules;
- Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
- Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
- Check that the competition you are running, or entering is actually "legal!" For example, be aware - that to run ANY sort of "paid" raffle or lottery - you either have to be a registered charity, or you have to obtain a gambling licence for the raffle/lottery to run legally... You cannot request payment for entry tickets otherwise.
- The above link clearly states: "It is a criminal offence under the Gambling Act to promote an unlawful lottery. If you run or promote a lottery on a social network, you could be acting unlawfully and could face prosecution. If convicted, you could be fined, imprisoned or both."
- So, if you are currently running a personal raffle, or lottery, to raise "caravan-funds" & are asking people to pay for the tickets without holding the relevant licence:- you are actually committing a criminal offence!
- If your raffle/lottery proceeds are being donated to a charity - you will need the charity to "organise" the raffle for you, using their registered charity number - which will be linked to their charity fundraising licence, or gain written permission from the charity concerned to proceed with your competition on their behalf - but you MUST state their registered charity number on your advertising for the event.
We suggest, if you currently have a "raffle" or "lottery" running on Facebook that doesn't comply with the above - close it down immediately - refund any monies paid to you & obtain the relevant licence or charity permission before you re-open your competition! We are all aware of how "diverse" Facebook can be - and all it will take is one person reporting your competition to the authorities, & you could be in for a very bumpy ride ahead.
Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
- A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
- Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook."
- Anyone taking part in your competition must state that they will not hold Facebook responsible for any consequences arising by them entering your competition!
- You must state that your competition has nothing to do with, has been endorsed by, or is in association with Facebook!
Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted).
- You cannot ask entrants to your competition to "share" a competition advertisement, as part of the conditions of the competition entry.
- You cannot ask for tags to be made on the post as a condition of the competition entry.
Facebook will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk..
The full updated Facebook regulations regarding competitions can be found here.
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