What are your plans for Memorial Day? If you're like many Americans, you may be planning a barbecue or other activities with friends and family. These days, many events like these are organized through Facebook. If that's the case, choose the words in your Facebook messages carefully. Otherwise, the social network might block your message.
It's true. There are so many folks organizing weekend and Memorial Day plans right now that your message could accidentally trigger Facebook's spam filters and be blocked from reaching your friends. Why would Facebook block your Memorial Day barbecue plans? BuzzFeed reporter Katie Notopoulos recently found out the hard way.
She discovered that Facebook Messenger and the Facebook website was blocking the phrase "What’s everyone doing this weekend?" Apparently it was because so many people were using the phrase at the same time, Facebook's spam police assumed it must have been a quickly spreading spam message.
A Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “we use a variety of systems to help detect and block spam on our site, and part of that work involves identifying patterns that can be associated with spam. This was a false positive and has already been corrected.”
The good news is Facebook has a system in place to flag spam messages and stop them in their tracks. The bad news is that sometimes this system accidentally blocks harmless messages that could throw a serious wrench in your party planning efforts.
If Facebook blocks a phrase you're using, you should see a notification that lets you know the message is flagged as spam. You will also see a red circle with an exclamation point in it next to the message to let you know it didn't send.
If this happens to you, just try tweaking your message a little bit to get around the spam filter. If a phrase you use is blocked, the problem will likely be fixed quickly by Facebook, as was the case with the "What’s everyone doing this weekend?" issue.