Topic: Capturing FacebookTopic: Capturing other social media
This document primarily provides guidance on creating accounts for Facebook usage. However, the information below is generally applicable to creating accounts for any social media platform.
For additional information on collecting social media content, please refer to Page Vault’s Social Media Best Practices Guide.
Almost all social media platforms require a user account to access the network: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Without logging into an account, your ability to view content on most social media platforms is quite limited. Rather than using your personal account to access these systems though, we recommend creating a work-only “examiner” account to use for social media captures.
To create a Facebook account, you will need either
The email address and/or phone number are used by Facebook to verify the account upon creation. They may also be used by the platform to verify that the account is owed by you.
For email, we recommend that you create a work-only account that is used specifically to create and maintain the new Facebook account, instead of using an existing personal email account. We have found that gmail and yahoo email addresses are less likely to be detected as suspicious by Facebook (which may result in Facebook blocking the account-creation process).
For cell phone numbers, we recommend creating a work-only number that is used specifically to create and maintain the new Facebook account. We do not recommend using an existing personal cell phone number.
Many online services exist to create new cell phone numbers, where the number can be maintained for months or years at a time. The key feature is the ability to receive text messages from social media platforms. TextMe (https://go-text.me/) is one such service that typically works when creating social media accounts.
It is best to have one Facebook account dedicated to just one Page Vault account. Some clients do use the same Facebook account with multiple Page Vault accounts (i.e., many people have their own Page Vault account, but they share a single Facebook account). However, this increases the risk of Facebook detecting something suspicious and disabling the account.
If you do share a Facebook examiner account, be sure that anyone on your team who uses the account for Page Vault knows the email address and/or phone number associated with your Facebook account and can get in touch with the person who controls that phone number—Facebook may send a code to those email accounts or phone numbers in order to verify the user’s authenticity.
To use the Facebook account within Page Vault, simply login to the Page Vault Browser (i.e., the Capture Tool) and navigate to the Facebook page. Then enter the login and password credentials that you established above. The first time you log in on the Page Vault Browesr, Facebook may require an authentication code to be entered. This will be sent to the account’s email address or phone number, which can then be entered to gain access to the Facebook account.
Using an examiner account is just like a normal social media account, but we suggest the following precautions for ethical protections and to protect your account from flagging the systems as a robot:
For further best practices for social media in a downloadable PDF, please see our guide.
All of the social media platforms have developed robust security systems to prevent robots, spammers, and malicious actors from accessing their platforms. As a result, sometimes using systems that access the platforms via API or that use automations that go very quickly will trigger the system to think your account is a robot and will be flagged or shut down.
Page Vault is constantly monitoring these activities and changes to the social platforms to make sure that our systems don’t trigger the social media’s security algorithms. We never access the platforms via their API, and have developed our automations to look as “human” as possible. In our experience, we have very few account flags and lockouts.
If you experience any issues with multiple lockouts, please let our support team know so that we can monitor changes to the platforms’ security.
As the social media platforms continue to increase their sophistication, it’s possible that using Page Vault will trigger something that will cause your examiner account to be locked. In that event, we suggest following the platform’s process for unlocking your account.