As you may know, several of the Tarantula Keepers Coalition board members are also admins/mods for the Facebook group The Tarantula Community. On Sunday of this week, Facebook disabled The Tarantula Community was for live animal sales posts. The admins of the Tarantula Community spent all of Sunday removing any posts that might trigger Facebook algorithms. On Monday the group requested a review by Facebook. As of now, a back-up group was created called The Tarantula Community TTC. Until the review has been processed, we are unsure what the outcome will be for the original group. We will update as anything changes.
We spoke with many other Facebook members during the past few days and it seems that even if a group has been reinstated, Facebook has often deleted the group again in a short period of time. This hasn’t been the case for every group that’s been disabled but the possibility hangs over the group.
Facebook’s Live Animal Sales Policy
Understanding Facebook’s live animal sales policy is imperative for all group admins/mods. It has long been Facebook’s policy that sales of endangered animals and their parts were forbidden. In May, they updated the policy to include sales of all animals between individuals. Animals sales are allowed to be posted by rehoming services, adoption services, shelters or brick-and-mortar entities. What is determined to be a “brick-and-mortar” entity is a case-by-case basis, but it is fair for us to assume if you have a storefront or established location which is connected to your business wherein customers can purchase tarantulas, you should be safe to make sales posts.
According to Facebook’s commerce rules, posts by individuals may not promote the sales of any of the following: live animals, pets, livestock, or any part, pelt or skin from an animal, including fur. However, the following are allowed: animal cages, (non-living) products for animals, veterinary services, grooming services, and boarding services.
Protect your Group from Being Disabled
Prevention is the best course of action. Here are some ways you can help prevent violations.
Full Post Approval for your group – this allows you to control every post that is attempted to be posted in your group. This is the #1 best tool at your disposal. You can also set pre-approved members if there are members that you trust to never submit a post that could result in a violation. Admins and mods are automatically pre-approved.
Watch for words/phrases that could trigger Facebook’s algorithms such as “sale”, “for sale”, “PM me for details”, etc. Decline or remove posts including such words/phrases which appear to be transactions between individuals. Again, brick-and-mortar entities are allowed to make such posts. (This is a important detail to remember!)
If your group gets disabled, any work on the group prior to the review can only be done by admin. You may want to consider promoting mods to admins, just in case. You get one chance for review so you want it to count. Be diligent in your group and you should be safe. 🙂 Most members are very understanding and willing to work with the groups they’re in as no one wants to see Facebook groups get shut down.