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The website of a conference that will take place soon (next month), offers social media buttons that should redirect the website visitor to the corresponding social media page or account, but when I click the Facebook button I get redirected to "Sorry, this page isn't available" and when I click the twitter button I get redirected to "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!" messages.

Is this normal?

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I would say this is a minor glitch in the web, probably the webmaster was not too careful when adding this plugin. That says nothing about the rest of the conference organisation. –  Davidmh Jul 21 at 13:20
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Mountain out of a molehill, much? P.S. If you get to the conference and find the coffee tastes bad, it's probably just bad coffee and not the organizers trying to drug you and steal your research ideas. –  David Richerby Jul 21 at 16:44
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@DavidRicherby Bad coffee would be a valid reason for upset, though! (I don't think I attend conferences that employ social media for their business.) –  Raphael Jul 21 at 17:17
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@DavidRicherby Worse than bad coffee? Not enough of it. Actually, working 'social media' links would make the conference suspicious to me. –  Jigg Jul 21 at 19:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I wouldn't say this is normal. That said, it need not raise a red flag or suggest that this would be a predatory conference or something you must stay away from. It doesn't inspire confidence, but it doesn't need to hurt confidence much either.

This sounds like a relatively minor issue and the kind of thing that is easy for the person setting up the conference website to miss in testing. Keep in mind that many prestigious conference have websites set up by academics volunteering to do so as part of service to their academic community, who are very busy, and for whom building robust websites is not their full time job.

There are predatory and sham conferences. If the conference is archival, check out Beall's List of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers and search around the web for information on the conference.

Email the organizers to tell them about the issue. You might even learn something about the credibility of the conference by who responds, and how.

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