Facebook has this week sought to clarify something of a legal gray area within its terms - group admins are not permitted, within the Terms of Service, to sell administration rights for their Facebook groups.
The clarification comes after the BBC investigated the rising amount of queries from organizations seeking to buy Facebook groups, and offering big money to admins for access.
Up till now, Facebook's rules around the sale of groups has been unclear - in the official ToS, it states that:
- "[You will] not share your password, give access to your Facebook account to others, or transfer your account to anyone else (without our permission)."
- "You will not transfer any of your rights or obligations under these Terms to anyone else without our consent."
So, essentially, it suggests that Facebook would need to approve any such transfer, adding some level of accountability and control to the process, though how and why Facebook might approve such isn't clear. That, you could argue, already makes it likely against the ToS to sell your group, but then again, actually giving your group admin rights to a third party is very easy, and has been made easier by Facebook's group additions which let you allocate such rights within the process.
That makes any enforcement of such process by Facebook very difficult - and again, there's no real clarity over why Facebook may or may not approve any such transfer, which means that it's not against the rules to do. Or it wasn't, till now.
According to the BBC report, an increasing number of Facebook group admins are now being approached by businesses seeking to buy their groups. Given the ongoing declines in organic reach, groups have been promoted by Facebook itself as something of an alternative, enabling more engagement and interaction, and helping businesses maintain connection with their communities through other methods. And as more activity switches across to groups, it's no surprise to see business interest follow suit - and you can bet the right offer would be tempting for those admins who've expended years of effort to build and maintain their audiences.
Someone comes to you with an offer to pay you for that work, definitely, there'd be some interest.
According to Facebook, the practice of selling your Group admin rights falls under the "spam" section of its Community Standards rules, though there's nothing specific noted as yet.
Given the increased emphasis on groups, you can bet Facebook will look to clarify this, and add in new detection measures to stamp out the practice.