FaceBook Contesting ~ Term and Conditions explained

In a discussion with Cupcake Warrior and Arty KitKat it was identified that the Terms and Conditions (T&C) of Facebook contesting are quite rigorous and largely being ignored.

Since there are a lot of people using FB for contesting I thought this would be an appropriate place to post a thread. I hope you agree.

You do not have to follow and T&C but failure to do so can get your page shut down completely and immediately.

So, I am posting the T&C here along with some tips on what you "can" do and a demo page I created on FB for you to took at. ALL COMMENTS ARE WELCOME. I think I have this right, but if I've missed anything, lets get it fixed here, K?

T&C: (What FB says....)
E. Promotions
If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion (such as a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals). Please note that compliance with these guidelines does not constitute the lawfulness of a promotion. Promotions are subject to many regulations and if you are not certain that your promotion complies with applicable law, please consult with an expert.
i. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.
ii. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
iii. You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
iv. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
v. You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
vi. You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.
vii. Definitions:
a. By “administration” we mean the operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.
b. By “communication” we mean promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook, e.g., in ads, on a Page, or in a Wall post.


Additionally, unless you are a non-profit agency, 501c3, you must adhere to gambling laws in regards to, "prize, chance and consideration". This means you can not charge people to enter or require them to buy anything. That is gambling. Only non-profits can do that as a raffle.

Here is a site I created as an example. https://www.facebook.com/notarealcontest

Things to note:
1) I would always create a NEW page for the contest only. That way you can promote it like crazy but the context page stays "clean" and with only one post to answer on.
2) It's important to specify in every way possible that FB is not liable.
3) Entrants MUST provide an email outside of FB as it is against T&C to use their messaging to notify winners.
4) You can ask people to "like" your contest page (and your original page, but you may not REQUIRE them to share your page.
5) Under contesting laws in general you should post the contest dates and where you will post the winners name.

Please contact me with any questions. I am doing this as a work exercise as well and have about 20+ years marketing experience. If I don't know the answer, I am motivated to find it.

Good Luck.

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6 replies since 3rd June 2013 • Last reply 3rd June 2013

So basically Facebook says "go somewhere else with your stupid giveaways..."

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It's pretty strict and limiting, I agree, but it can be done. They have gone waaaay overboard in making sure they can not be sued for fictitious contests. But the opportunity is still there and I am fairly confident the "template" site I created covers it.

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thank you sososo much, this is extremely helpful! I have to say though, Facebook is a lot stricter than I thought they would be with giveaways :/

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Thank you Ravens Trove for doing all this work. The only bit I'm finding hard to get my head around is how you obtain peoples email address without it being public (i.e. on the pages' timeline).

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I would add the option of sending you a PM on Facebook with their email address. They can post it when they post, "I agree" or they can send it in addition to "I agree".

Good point.

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Yeah that would would. Its a shame facebook felt the need to make it so tough to run competitions. I can understand that part of it is probably they probably want to reduce the chance of people getting caught by scams or fake pages and don't want that coming back on them because they host the site, but its a shame as there are so many legitimate small businesses who wouldn't misuse it.

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