A few years ago I self-published a book, for fear of people suggesting this is an advertising piece I won’t mention it. I wrote blogs to try and help promote it and set up a facebook page too. My few attempts at paid facebook marketing didn’t ever really set the world alight with sales but it was worth a punt.
Since then (2013) I have posted my racing blogs and the odd on-course photo on the page to keep it and the book alive. Since working for Star Sports have started posting links to my blogs and #BettingPeople video interviews on the page too. After all, the same with writing a book, whatever you create you’d like to people to have a look at it and my job is judged on traffic.
Last month I had the idea to invest some of the firm’s money, on a promoted post. These are actively encouraged by facebook, you pay and chose an audience, I set mine, anyone seeing it had to be aged over 18, live in the UK or Ireland and like horse racing. How it works is you post your proposed advert, facebook moderate it while you wait a few hours. Once it’s approved you are off, the post flies out into cyberspace and you are fishing for engagements, most importantly clicks through to the post on the Star Sports content site. At the end of your money you are sent some figures which show how well your advert has done. The first one went well, so we did a couple more, they worked even better.
Happy days, Star Sports were getting clicks and facebook were getting paid, everyone’s a winner. Then a weird thing happened. My page with six years of posts, memories and photos was unceremoniously ‘unpublished’. I was a little confused and a bit miffed, after all that’s a lot of years of work. So, I appealed, I pointed out that you can’t place bets on the content site that hosts our content. I also pointed out that as well as pro-punters, writers and photographers we have featured a man that helps people with their problem gambling and another that hates bookies, all very balanced.
I got this back.
We’ve reviewed your Page and found that it still promotes online gambling or lotteries that involve the exchange of real money. As a result, your Page remains unpublished.
I was pretty miffed after all, yes the videos are about ‘The Game’ which isn’t illegal in this country, but if you can’t even write or talk about it on social media it’s the thin edge of the wedge, maybe a sinister glimpse into how things might be going. Then I read on…
If you’d like to advertise Real Money Gaming (RMG) on Facebook or Instagram, you can apply to become an approved gambling partner:
We’ll review your application as soon as we can, but it may take up to 45 days to complete process.
Ah so that’s it, the moral high ground can be occupied persons unknown indignantly looking down in disgust at someone talking about gambling and undertake in summary deletion of someone’s work. But I’m guessing they’ll soon hop off if you’ll be so kind as to drop a bit more into the hod.
Time moves on but nothing really changes.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring