Double Trouble – ditch your comping Facebook account!

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a flurry of requests from Facebook friends to add their ‘new comping account’ as a friend. As a comper, it’s easy to annoy your ‘normal’ friends with constant status updates, links and activities which will clutter up their Newsfeed. So surely the simple solution is just to set up a new Facebook account specifically for comping – perhaps with a nickname? 

In a word, No. This is against Facebook rules:

Of course, many people use two or more Facebook accounts without being found out. But having two accounts can offend fellow compers (you have two chances to win competitions, two chances to vote, etc…) and it’s easy for someone to report your second account as a fake profile and get it deleted, so is it really worth the risk? 

There are several ways you can restrict the amount of ‘comping’ that your friends see on Facebook – using Lists, adjusting your activity visibility, and asking your friends to change their subscription settings. 
Using Lists 
Facebook lists are an excellent way to organise your account, and can help solve the dilemma of keeping your comping activities separate from your work or family ones. You can assign a friend to one or more lists – Family and Close Friends are two of the default lists, and I suggest adding a new list called ‘Compers’. I’ve made this video tutorial to help you do this – please excuse my Movember profile photo!

To set up a ‘Compers‘ list, choose LISTS from the menu on the left of your Facebook homepage. Click ‘Create a List’ and name it ‘Compers’. You can add to your list on the right of the page by typing in the box – but it’s actually much easier to go to your main Friends list from your profile page, then scroll down adding each friend to the ‘Compers’ list – or any of the other lists – as you go. Friends can be added to more than one list – so if your sister’s a comper, pop her into the ‘Family’, ‘Close Friends’ and ‘Compers’ lists by ticking beside all 3.

As you add new friends, make sure you add them to the appropriate list. When you’ve sent a friend request you can assign that person to a list from the drop down menu, even though they haven’t accepted yet. If you receive Friend requests, you can Confirm, and again assign them to lists in the drop down menu.

When you post on your wall, you can choose which list to post to. You do this by selecting from the drop-down menu in the top right of the box. If I’m posting details of a competition, I select ‘Compers’ to ensure I don’t annoy my non-comping friends. If you want to share family photos you could choose to share with ‘Close Friends’ and ‘Family’. For ‘Like and Share’ type competitions, unfortunately this system won’t work – although the promoter will see the total number of Shares, when they click to choose their winner from the list they will ONLY see the names of people who have set their Share to ‘Public’. So, if you limit your Sharing to Friends, Friends of Friends or to your Compers list – then you won’t be in the draw. This is a real shame and one of the reasons I rarely enter Sharing comps – there are probably many of us wondering why we don’t win them, and not realising this is why. Any comps that require you to Like, Comment or Share a post are actually breaking Facebook promotion rules too!

After posting on your wall, you can change your mind about the visibility by clicking to the right of the post and changing the setting – for example from ‘Public’ to ‘Close Friends’. You can also assign these restrictions to your photos and photo albums – if you’re combining your comping with a personal account, it’s probably worth changing the privacy of your photos from ‘Public’ or ‘Friends’ to ‘Close Friends’ and ‘Family’.

You can view your News Feed from a specific list too – so you can view your ‘Compers’ list to see all the competitions that people are entering in one place, without all the updates from Fan pages and your non-comping friends.

Keeping your wall tidy
Because I only have one Facebook account and my wall privacy is set so that anyone can see it, I like to keep it tidy. I regularly delete Automatic wall posts from friends via Facebook Apps – to do this, just click to the right and choose ‘Delete post’. If someone has tagged you in a competition photo or status which has appeared on your wall, you can also click to the right and choose ‘Remove from Profile’ – don’t worry, this won’t remove the tag from the original photo or post! If you’re worried about what certain people can see on your wall, you can click the ‘View As’ button on your profile and view your page as ‘Public’ or as any of your friends to check what’s visible.

Hiding wall activity

You can hide Comment, Like, Wall posts and Friending activity from your profile page by clicking on the ‘X’ next to the activity on your wall, then choosing ‘Hide all recent likes/wall posts/commenting/friending activity from profile’. This video will help you do this:

To change this setting back, scroll down to the bottom of your own wall and choose ‘Edit Options’. Changing these settings will hide activity from your wall but unfortunately it’s not guaranteed to hide all activity from your friends’ newsfeed or ticker! To guarantee they don’t see any of your comping posts, your friends will need to take action themselves…
Restricting what updates you see
As well as being useful for you, this is something that you should make your friends aware of if you intend to do a lot of comping on Facebook. In your News Feed or Friends list, click to the right of your friend’s name and you can choose which updates you see from them – ‘all updates’, ‘most updates’ (this is the default) or ‘important updates’. I recommend you tell your non-comping friends and family to change their settings so they only see your ‘Important’ updates, then they won’t have your comping posts filling up their News Feed. Facebook is currently rolling out the new ‘Timeline’ profile, which will allow you to label your status updates as ‘Important’ – eg. new job, new baby, relationship event, etc – these are the ‘Important’ updates that you would probably want all your friends to see.

If your friends don’t want to see your comments and likes in their Newsfeed, they can click to the right of them and choose ‘Unsubscribe from comments and likes’. They can also choose ‘Unsubscribe’ so they won’t see any posts at all from you – if you have friends who complain about your comping then this is what you should advise them to do! They can always pop over to your Facebook page to catch up on anything they’ve missed, and there’s no need for them to ‘Unfriend’ you. If you’re thinking of merging two Facebook accounts, it might be worth sending messages to your close friends and family to explain their options for hiding your comping posts and activity!

Merging two accounts
Facebook doesn’t have any way of merging accounts – you will have to delete one account and add the extra friends to the other account. As your comping account probably has a lot more friends, photos, Apps and Pages then it might be best to keep that one. Send a message to Friends and Family from your original account to explain what you are doing – include a polite recommendation that they might want to change their subscription settings to avoid seeing all your comping activity!

Whilst logged in on your comping account, visit your main account’s Friends list and click to Add Friends from that account – remembering to put them in your ‘Close Friends’, ‘Acquaintances’ or ‘Family lists. Before deleting your original Facebook account, you should download all the information – you can read how to do this on the Facebook Help pages

Reporting a fake Facebook profile
If you believe that someone has multiple profiles and is using them all to enter or vote in competitions, then you should report them. To do this, scroll down on their profile page and choose ‘Report/Block’. From the pop-up menu choose ‘This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake’, and from the drop down menu ‘Does not represent a real person’. You can then add more information, such as a link to that person’s other profile, explaining that it’s a second account set up just for the purpose of entering competitions.

When Facebook Security alerts picked up my account as being fake and disabled it without warning (see this blog post), I got in touch to ask them about reporting fake and comping profiles and they responded by telling me ‘If you ever come across a profile that violates our policies, feel free to report it by using the “Report/block This Person” link located on that profile’ – so don’t feel any guilt about snitching!

These methods should help you to keep your comping separate from your personal Facebook – of course, it’s not the perfect solution as many posts will slip through the net.  But if you’re serious about comping then any real friends shouldn’t mind the odd post about your hobby – and if they complain about it, then perhaps they’re a friend that’s not worth having! 

6 Responses

  1. sarah burton says:

    Thanks Di, I’d set up a list on fb for my friends that comp, but was confused about the share on your wall aspect (or you wont be entered in the comp). Good luck x

  2. Thankyou Di! I’m just sorting my profile now. xxx

  3. Emma says:

    now if only Facebook would find a way of allowing a list of pages, my feed is cluttered with updates on pages I’ve liked to enter something. Being fickle I’m deleting the page once I see someone else has won! I can always like it again if something comes on later…

  4. SuperluckyDi says:

    Hmmm, Facebook should always load with your Newsfeed/Homepage if you’re logged in. Has your friend ensured they tick the ‘Keep me logged in’ box on the Facebook Welcome page?

  5. Brackenheart says:

    Thank you so much for setting this out so clearly. I was easily able to follow your instructions and now will hopefully not be annoying my non-comping friends! Can I please ask you if you know how to set up FB so the Newsfeed comes up first rather than the Welcome page as is happening to a friend of mine. Thanks in advance for any help! 🙂

  6. Mike Terry says:

    Thank you so much Di. This is very clearly set out, I hope to have my Compers list set up very soon. I welcome as friends all compers, its great to share what we do and congratulate each other on our wins. Good luck everyone!

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