Facebook Eases Restrictions on Sweepstakes and Contests

by Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP

On August 27, 2013, Facebook revised the section of its “Pages Terms” that applies to administering sweepstakes and contests on Facebook.  With the revised terms, Facebook relaxed most of the prior rules and restrictions it had in place, making it much easier for businesses to run sweepstakes and contests on Facebook.

Many of our clients use Facebook as a vehicle for marketing.  Some of their marketing efforts include the use of sweepstakes and contests to promote their brands.  Having handled a number of these transactions, we want to make you aware of the changes that Facebook made, as well as the ramifications of these changes.

Here is a summary of the most significant changes:

  • Previously, Facebook required promotions to be administered via third party apps.  Now, promotions may be administered directly on companies’ Page Timelines, or via third party apps.
  • Previously, Facebook features/functionality could not be used as a mechanism to enter a promotion. Now, people may enter a brand’s promotion by, for instance, liking a page, posting a comment on a page, or sending a message to a page.
  • “Likes” may also now be used as a voting mechanism in contests, which Facebook previously prohibited.

As before, however, businesses may not administer promotions on personal Timelines.  For instance, people cannot be required to post something on their own Timeline or a friend’s Timeline for an entry into a contest or sweepstakes.

The revised terms also continue several other prior requirements, namely, companies must still include a complete release of Facebook in their promotion terms, as well as a statement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook; and companies are still responsible for the lawful operation of their promotions, and ensuring that their promotions comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

Finally, Facebook added a new prohibition against tagging people, or encouraging people to tag themselves, in content they are not actually depicted in.  This is, according to Facebook, in order to maintain the accuracy of Page content.  Thus, for instance, while it would be allowable to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize, it would not be allowable to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize.

Facebook’s articulated reason for these revisions is to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook.  See: https://www.facebook.com/facebookforbusiness/news/page-promotions-terms.

While businesses may indeed benefit from these relaxed rules, they will first need to address some technical challenges.  For instance, providing a link and checkbox to a promotion’s complete Official Rules was easily accomplished in the past because promotion participants were required to enter a promotion via a separate entry form.  Prior to hitting “submit” to enter the promotion, entrants typically were made to check a box indicating their agreement with the Official Rules.  With Facebook’s revised rules, however, entrants will be able to enter a promotion directly on a Facebook page via the simple act of, for example, liking a page.  Business owners will need to come up with a way to make sure that entrants still see and agree to the complete Official Rules, which typically contain important disclosures that govern a promotion.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP

Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.