Violating the Rules of Facebook Contests & Promotions?

How to Use Facebook Contests & Promotions

facebook contests & promotionsHow easy is it to unknowingly “violate” Facebook’s Promotion and Contest terms? I mean…its a public free platform right…can’t we do as we please and post as we wish? Not exactly. Remember…this is a free platform in which we users are given the permission to use it as long as we abide by what the owners allow. One area that Facebook has been taking a closer look at is how people are promoting and using contests on it’s pages.


When it comes to holding a contest and promoting it on Facebook, the line is very clear on what you may or may not do and Facebook wants its users to abide by their rules in order to meet FTC guidelines. Simply…users may not use Facebook’s features to run and promote a contest.

These rules include running the contest AND requiring people to like a post, post a comment or post a picture in order to be entered into the contest. Instead a third party app must be used and there are even restrictions on how you may announce a winner on Facebook. Users must use a thrid party app on a canvas page or app page and be sure to include a disclaimer releasing Facebook by all participants, and that the contest is not endorsed by Facebook nor providing the contest information.

I see contest violations everyday. Many Page Admins may not even be aware of the restrictions Facebook has on how a contest and promotion can be run on it’s platform. To avoid the risk of your account and page being red flagged and shut down, it is a good idea to review Facebook’s terms pertaining to contests and promotions. We have included Facebook’s Promotions terms below so page admins may have a better understanding.


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.

  • Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or a Page App.
  • Promotions on Facebook must include the following:

 A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.

Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.

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.

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.

You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.

You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.


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.

We reserve the right to reject or remove Pages for any reason. These terms are subject to change at any time.

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