How do I report a Facebook page for abuse?

Sometimes it happens… you see an aggressive or abusive message on a Facebook page or group, you’ve been attacked by one, or something you see just doesn’t sit right with you – so what do you do?

Well, you could sit and moan, shout at the screen, call your mum, or you could… REPORT that page.

Facebook has a facility that allows you to report a page or a post and in this blog post I’m going to tell you how to do it, and tell you my experiences.

So, let’s take a page – I’m going to use the British Democratic Defence League page as an example because they recently attacked me and I (and others) successfully had the posts removed.

If you dislike a page as a whole (and I have no thoughts for or against this one apart from where they used me as a pawn) then the process is simple.

First of all look top right on the page and see the cog symbol:


When you click on this you get a drop down box which shows:

2As you can see, ‘Report Page’ has been highlighted. Click on this and you get an array of options:



Now, we can all be sure that “I just don’t like it” and “I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook” are putting us on a hiding to nowhere, so ignore those options.

In my case it was “It’s harrassing me or someone I know” so i’m going to continue using this as an example (I’ll use another example in ‘reporting a post’ later).

Clicking on that gives us this:


Now, don’t think that ‘getting help from someone you trust’ is what you need. You need to tick that report to Facebook box right now.

Then you’ll get this:


And you won’t hear anything for a couple of days.

If you’re lucky the page will disappear and you’ll get a message about this, but in my experience this is VERY unlikely.

The answer?

The fact that you’re a little bit miffed is more likely to do with a post than the entire page, so start small – from little acorns great oak trees grow, right?

So, find a post (yes I know there may be more than one but you can report each one individually) that you’re unhappy with and let’s report that!

Firstly locate the time that the post was made and right click the downwards facing arrow to the right of it:


See that ‘Report / mark as spam’?

Click on that.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s it, as no fanfare is made, but look out for this box:


It’s not the easiest to see but it’s there.

Click on the ‘Report’ link and you see this:


Now this bit isn’t obvious… if you click ‘I don’t think it should be on Facebook’ you get a generic reply. Ditto if you click ‘It’s spam’.

Don’t be disheartened – if you click on ‘I don’t like this photo of me’ then you get this:


This gives you a little bit more to play with.

HOWEVER it gets a little more interesting if you click on ‘Other’:


From here it’s pretty self explanatory I would hope.  There are sometimes other options such as hate crime, incitement to violence and other options, but just go with what you think.

So what will happen?

Honestly? The chances are that firstly you’ll get this:


Now, I don’t know whether Facebook actually review the pages the first time you report them, as every single page I have reported has had this response. I suspect it is an automated process, and they hope you’ll go away.

But, there is still hope – you can give Facebook feedback on the post and extra information using the link provided, and this allows you to go into more detail about the issue. It seems that an actual person then reviews the page or post you have complained about and, if they agree, remove it.

It’s easy to give up at the first hurdle, but by reporting posts and pages (and encouraging your connections to do the same) that are harmful or hurting people, maybe, just maybe, we can help people out and make Facebook a nicer place for them to be.


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How do I delete or remove myself from a board on Pinterest?

I wrote a little while ago about the latest trend of adding people as collaborators to a Pinterest board and how annoying it was, not to mention spammy.

It’s still happening with alarming regularity to lots of us, judging from the emails I get!

One of the most frequent Pinterest questions I’m asked at the moment is ‘How do I remove myself when someone adds me to a Pinterest board?’

So here’s how to do it.

First of all navigate to the board you’ve been added to. The example I’m using below is a board I’m actually happy to be a part of, as I’ve removed myself from those I’m not!

Once you’re on the board, you should see the edit button (click on image to enlarge):

Once you’ve clicked on the edit button you should see a list of the board’s contributors / editors – in the image below I appear at the top, which isn’t always the case, so you may have to search for yourself. (I’ve removed the details of other contributors.)

Simply click on ‘remove’ to start the process of removing yourself from the board.

Now comes the important bit – I missed this out at first and became really annoyed when I was still getting alerts that people had added to the board!

Scroll right to the bottom of the page and click on the ‘save settings’ button – it looks like this:

Once you’ve clicked that you’ll be removed – simple!

Why should I remove yourself from a board?

It may be flattering that someone has added you to a board called ‘Best pinterest Users’ or ‘People of Importance’ but you have no control over it. You don’t know whether the other contributors to the board are people you would want to be aligned with, or what content they’ll post.

It’s also pretty odds on that you don’t really know the person who has added you, have no idea of the reason for the board, and will never post to it anyway!

And remember, every board you are a contributor to, whether one of yours or one you’ve been added to without asking, shows up on your profile. When someone adds you to a board think “Do I want this on my Pinterest profile?”.

If the answer is no, then remove yourself as soon as possible.

Have you been added to boards without your permission? Did you remove yourself or did you just say nothing and try to ignore it?


Why am I suddenly getting so much spam on my WordPress blog even though Akismet is installed?

I awoke this morning to many irate emails from clients and over 400 spam comments to be moderated on my own blog – what on earth had happened?

Off I went to check, and Akismet seemed to be installed properly, and there were no alerts. Hmm, further investigation needed. A quick post on Twitter and others were having the same problem!

Off to look at Akismet configuration I went – and I found this:

Along with a link to the Akismet site to get an API key.

Clicking on the link took me to – where it now appears that for a business site they want you to pay $5 a month to use Akismet. Now I’m not bothered about this – I run a business site, Akismet works well and I’m happy to pay.

The plans vary depending on how many sites you have (click on image for larger version):

As I’ve said, I’m happy to pay, and $5 a month is nothing compared to the time it took me to get rid of the spam this morning, but I would have liked some warning, if this is indeed the reason behind the sudden switching off of Akismet. (There is a free/donation option for personal sites)

Anyway, if you suddenly have loads of spam comments, this could be the reason why – were you deluged this morning?

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E-mail Marketing – 7 Ways To Fail

A Guest Post:

E-Mail Marketing is often championed as a wonderful opportunity because of its negligible cost, but the fact is that it has one of the lowest success rates there is – so low that it has a special name which has passed into folk-lore, Spam. The simple fact is that even the mails that pass through the software spam filters tend to fail in delivering their message. Now as an expert in avoiding reading the message I’ll give you my top 6 tips for how you can get me to read your mail.

1. Don’t assume that I want to read your mail just because I subscribed at your website. Really – it sounds daft, but it doesn’t work like that!

2. Give me something that I want. I’ll gladly accept that a sales pitch comes with the mail if there is something else in the mail that I want. Some advice, an expert opinion, some statistics, a report. I’m a Landlord with a Website, so I’ll gladly read about house prices, rental values, how my website ranking has changed, tips on maintenance. But I can’t emphasis enough how important it is that it has to be something that I want, even a well disguised sales pitch behind the information won’t necessarily keep you off my blocked senders list.

3. You only get one chance. Once you’ve disappeared onto that blocked senders list, you’ll never make it out again, so really – don’t take the risk. Never let me recognise that you are selling, the consequences are too serious for you. So best of all – don’t sell, just be there for when there is a sales opportunity.

4. Ignore the Internet Marketing Experts They tell you to call to action, and god knows what else. All their websites look the same, all their mail looks the same. I’ve recognised it before they’ve finished their 1st sentence, and I can’t even tell you what it is. A bit like scammers come from Nigeria!

Some samples from my Junk Mail folder:

a. You are receiving this email because you have shown an interest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing.

b. URGENT: I’m offering a very special $4580 bonus package





g. Words like Massive, Early Bird,

5. Make friends with the Junk-Mail Filter OK – it’s a bit of a no brainer of me to say “get past the junk mail filter” but I am speechless that a lot of professional marketers make no effort to convince the filter that their mail is ordinary & wanted. If you can’t get past it, you may never be seen, but worse than that – the Junk Mail filter isn’t just a faceless piece of software, she is my friend and key influencer. She does so much good work for me that I listen to her opinion with respect. If she likes you, then you stand a chance. If she took against you, then you face an uphill struggle.

6. Minimise Linked Graphics. Really – I know linked graphics seems a great idea, but it’s a straight out of tip 3 – it’s one of the ways I recognise spam. There are 3 practical reasons why linked graphics are a key route to failure:

a. It’s one of the ways that the porn and Viagra merchants try to get their words past the Junk Mail filter

b. It’s just plain typical of the messages that I don’t want

c. Mail readers block picture links and ask the recipient if they want to download the graphics. I am now deciding whether to put you on the block senders list without being able to see what you probably would hope is the best bit of your mail.

So if you really must link graphics, try to ensure that your message from tip 2 (why I want to read your mail) is clear in the text.

7. Don’t look like a Phisher. I wouldn’t ordinarily think of giving this as a tip but a big professional company actually did this last week, and it is what gave me the idea for this article. Do not use some HTML in your mail like – <A HREF=http://www.yourwebsite.php></a>

There you are – 7 tips to get you read, try it – mail me at I’m sure I’ll read it.

This Guest Post was by Nick Parkin of Pimlico Flats a Private Landlord active in Social Networking and Renting Flats in London.

My link exchange policy

Or, an open letter to people spamming me with requests to exchange links…

Yet again I receive a template email from someone who clearly uses an automated program to send them out, asking me to put their link on my site in return for having my link on their site (still with me?).

The email itself raises a few points, which I’d like to go in to, and then establish this post as my official link exchange policy.

My name is Oxxxxx Pxxxx. I’ve just visited your website

Erm, I don’t believe you.

I was wondering if you’d be interested in exchanging links with my website. I can offer you a HOME PAGE link back
from my Web marketing and SEO guide website which is xxxxxxxx.

I’m sure this exchange would be benefitial for both of our sites,
helping towards increasing our visibility in search engines.

If you are interested, please add the following information to your
website and kindly let me know when it’s ready. I’ll do the same for
you in less than 24 hours, otherwise you can delete my link from your

Title: SEO & Internet Marketing
URL:  removed
Description:  SEO & Internet Marketing for small business websites

If you had indeed looked at my website, you would have noticed a couple of things:

  1. I don’t have links to any other sites on there, unless they are contextual and part of something I am writing
  2. My site promotes my company’s SEO & Internet Marketing Services

Now, I freely admit that I’m not among the world’s most intelligent people, but I like to think I have a pretty sane head on my shoulders, so WHY ON EARTH do you think I would like to offer a link on my well promoted site to someone who purports to be one of my competitors? And if I, in some moment of deranged madness, agreed to do this, what makes you think that all I would want in return is a link on a page on your site which contains many of my other competitors, and isn’t even in your main navigation?

You finish your email with:


Well, Ms P., I beg to differ. It’s unsolicited and it’s commercial – and I suspect sent out in bulk with an automated program –  that makes it spam. And that’s before we get to your outrageous ‘you will not be contacted again’ rubbish – this is the 3rd such email from you in 2 days, albeit promoting different sites (I don’t want to link to an Indian web hosting company or a watchmaker site either, thanks awfully).

And if I ‘will not be contacted again’, why do I then have to visit some site to fill in a form to ‘be sure’ you don’t contact me again? The same form, by the way, that I have filled in 3 times already.


No, no, please accept MY apologies for:

  1. Thinking you clearly have no idea how to do your job
  2. Writing a blog post about how bloody useless you are, and
  3. Pointing out your faults to the lovely people that read my blog

The above is a moronic and useless way to ask for link exchange. The full email also claimed that having my link on their site would ‘benefit me in the search engines’ – having looked at their spammy site I can assure you it wouldn’t.

So, what is my linking policy? Simple – I don’t exchange links. With ANYONE. If a link is on my site it’s because it’s part of a post I’m writing, or it’s relevant to the page it’s on. I dont want to exchange links with holiday sites, hosting sites, watch sites, viagra sites, porn sites – I don’t want to exchange links with any sites at all.

Why? Because exchanging links with unrelated sites does nothing to help your Google listings, despite what people will tell you. Links from sites that are relevant and related to yours may help – but why would I want to advertise my competitors on my own website for the sake of a non-guaranteed ‘boost’ in Google? Even if I didn’t have the listings I wanted (I do) then that would be madness.

I’ll continue link building in the way I always have – slowly and surely, getting one way links from well thought of sites, and not seeing it as the be all and end all of SEO. Because it’s not.

I’ll leave the closing comment to Oxxxxx Pxxxx:

I hope you have a nice day and thank you for your time.

Are your email messages being blocked by spam filters?

A great reminder from Nigel Temple’s Marketing Mentor newsletter today, regarding testing your newsletters and list emails to see if they’ll make it past a spam filter:

Are your email messages being blocked by spam filters?

Posted: 04 Sep 2008 01:24 AM CDT

A key marketing principle is simply to ‘keep in touch’. One way of doing this is via email marketing. If you use this approach, I am sure that you don’t blast messages out to strangers (because that’s spam, isn’t it?).

You may well have noticed that some of your emails ‘bounce’ / are rejected. Why is this? Well, some of the addresses may be defunct. And some of them are probably being blocked by anti-spam filters. In the trade, this is known as a ‘false positives’.

Here is a link to one of the freely available email message checkers. If you run your draft email message through it – you will discover whether it would be considered as spam by the likes of SpamAssassin™. You will receive an instant score + a detailed email report + recommended changes:

You can subscribe to Nigel’s newsletter here.

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