I have been sitting on this topic for a while but based on my experience over the past couple of months, I believe that it’s time that this topic really does come to light for discussion. There are pros and cons in everything in life, but when innocent people are affected it’s time to rethink things. What am I rambling about now? Let me explain.
Facebook Flex – Free Facebook In The Caribbean Courtesy Of Digicel!
Just under 2 years ago, I remember travelling to an island in the Caribbean and something strange came up on my phone. I got this popup on my Facebook page asking if I wanted to be on Facebook on Data Mode. I wasn’t sure what it was about but I realized that I had access to Facebook for FREE. I was able to see status’s etc but I couldn’t see pictures or videos. I did some research and found out it is called Facebook Flex. I was able to find an older write up on it right here.
I thought that it was such a great idea. I mean especially for someone like me who travels throughout the Caribbean and I have a Digicel number in almost every single island. Sometimes there isn’t Wifi available and if you just land and your number has no credit, this could come in very handy. I even thought that it may be a great idea for North American Telecommunication Companies to adopt. I mean we all pretty much LIVE on Facebook right?
Is Facebook Flex Really A Good Thing As Is?
Over the past few months there has been some tension with my blog and some people from some Caribbean Island(s). I realized that the majority of the backlash and back and forth occured on Facebook. I am a multi-platformed Blogger/Vlogger. I have a few Youtube Channels, a very active Instagram Page but all of the ‘excessive trolling’ occured on Facebook. Normally, in the past, when people have taken up issue with some of my content I would be trolled on all my Social Media outlets. People would be sending me messages on Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook. Generally that is how it is when people want to give me supportive messages as well. But for some reason this time it was only on Facebook.
I decided to take a closer look. Having a Verified Page on Facebook, I am able to drill down on certain statistics. I started to compare these stats to the stats on my Youtube page. And one thing was very clear, there seemed to be an exceptionally high number of people engaging from a particular region, on mobile devices, with a particular carrier. Since I have started blocking people instead of engaging with their trolling I have seen my stats change again, and there seems to be less people from that same region using mobile devices and not a large gap between the types of devices people use to browse my page.
Looking at my normal engagement statistics, there isn’t such a large gap between devices in that region. Meaning, you will normally see a balance between individuals engaging on my page with Desktop Devices, iPads, Tablets, and Mobile Devices. Normally, Mobile stats are slightly higher than the other devices but not such a large gap.
I started asking around to see if I was just imagining things of if I was on to something. Are people abusing Facebook Flex and trolling people because they don’t lose any credit or use data to do this? It’s only obvious that there would be a correlation with people that may not have enough money for credit on their phone and these people more than likely having an excessive amount of time on their hands. Social Media trolls especially the ones that are stalking trolls generally do not have any form of employment or they are underemployed. Being straining financially Facebook Flex gives them access to Facebook for Free. Instead of using this for something positive they use it for something negative.
Rethink and Revamp Facebook Flex!
I think Digicel needs to take a serious look into Facebook Flex. I am not proposing to have it removed. However, I do think that it needs to be tweaked substantially.
- Facebook Flex should only allow users to see their OWN profile. If there is anything important or pressing that was posted on their own page they would be able to see it in case of emergencies etc.
- Facebook Flex should place a restriction on the number or comments, likes, etc that a user can do in 1 day or a particular time frame. The same way there is a restriction on pages that don’t follow Facebook guidelines, is the same way there should be a restriction on how many comments a user could post in a particular timeframe.
- Facebook Flex should restrict users from messaging/contacting a person that is not on their friends list.
- Facebook Flex should restrict users from having the ability to go on any Fan Page. Pages like mine are used 100% for business and having to deal with people sitting down an entire day and harassing people is becoming an issue.
- Facebook Flex should restrict users from Facebook LIVE. This issue is part of the reason I no longer choose Facebook LIVE as a method to engage with my fans. I did a blog post on this recently as well.
I don’t think that Digicel needs to totally do away with Facebook Flex but it seriously needs to be revamped. Facebook really was designed for people to share their personal experiences with people they know and turned into a platform to aid and assist businesses that wanted to get their name/products/brand out there. I have personally seen the deterioration over time regarding excessive trolling. And I know this is a minor tweak for Digicel. People do need this service, but not all the features currently offered. Just some of them.
Digicel probably may not even be aware that this is a major issue. Someone send them this and tell them Babbzy said HELLO!!!