Warning! This Is How You Lose Your Facebook Page

January 19, 2012

Facebook Pages, Social Media

Facebook Pages have become an important part of your online marketing strategy. You put a lot of effort in designing and managing them, and getting all those important fans. You post four to five times a week and keep your audience happy and occupied. Everything is going as planned and future looks rosy.

…and then you lose that page!

Warning! This Is How You Lose Your Facebook Page

Has this happened to you? It sure did happen to me; twice…and let me tell you it does not feel good!

The first time was in September last year when I lost my Facebook Page I had created for the readers of my blog. This one you are reading right now. I had some good interaction happening with the Page and there were hundreds of fans who had Liked the Page.

Then one rainy morning I received a blunt email from Facebook saying that they had deleted my Page. Bang! Just like that. No warning, no nothing. Just one evil click of Facebook tech’s mouse and my Page was gone forever.

Hello,

You created a Page (“Facebook Advertising | Social Media Marketing“) that violated Section 5.6 of our Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, which says:

“You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.”

This Page will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.

If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to review our Statement by visiting http://www.facebook.com/terms.php.

The Facebook Team

The email didn’t actually reveal why my Page was deleted, but it said that you can’t use Facebook, the Facebook, F-Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall or 32665 with your Facebook Pages. Based on this my guess is that I lost my Page because of the name I’ve given to it. I had created the page for my blog which was, and still is, called Facebook Advertising | Social Media Marketing. Hence the logically identical name on my Facebook Page.

Facebook Advertising | Social Media Marketing Facebook Badge R.I.P. What the email did say clearly though was that my Facebook Page will not be reinstated! They didn’t even offer me a possibility to explain myself, fix the problem or reply to their email. I actually tried to reply but they never got back to me.

What bugs me the most was that I could have corrected the problem very easily. I had not yet applied for the custom URL so I could have just changed the name and everybody would have gone home happy. But nooo! Click, bang! You’re dead and that’s the end of it!

(Just in case you’re wondering what that cryptical 32665 is, it is the number where you can update your Facebook status by texting FBOOK 32665).

Facebook is seriously protecting their rights

Facebook is very protective of its intellectual property and it is determined to safe guard it with a vengeance. You may have heard about cases where Facebook has sued different parties for taking their name in vain. For instance they sued Teachbook.com for using the word ‘book‘ in their name. Yes, you read that right. Facebook thinks they own the copyright to every book-word on the planet!

Another example is where Facebook is suing the holders of 25 domain names referred to as typosquatters. These are websites which URL’s resemble facebook.com type wise. For example facemook.com or facefook.com. Facebook is accusing them of infringing its precious domain name. This I can understand, but if these websites have totally different agendas and don’t even resemble Facebook it’s a bit of an overkill.

Facebook expert Mari Smith took down her popular WhyFacebook.com blog in late 2010. According to Mari, Facebook was on a mission to reclaim all domain names which contain the word ‘facebook’. It looks like Facebook has actually taken possession of Mari’s domain as it now redirects to the Facebook homepage. This cause of action actually makes me worry as I too have the name ‘facebook’ in the domain name of this blog. So far they haven’t contacted me so perhaps I’m safe.

For now.

Once bitten, twice shy

The second time I lost my Facebook Page was about a week ago when Facebook took down the Page I had created to replace the one I lost earlier. This time I made sure I didn’t have anything related to the Facebook -name in the Page and so it was called “Social Media Marketing Advice”. You’d think that would have been ok? Again, here is another grim email:

Hello,

You created a Page (“Social Media Marketing Advice“) that violated Section 5.6 of our Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, which says:

“You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.”

This Page will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.

If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to review our Statement by visiting http://www.facebook.com/terms.php.

The Facebook Team

Warning! This Is How You Lose Your Facebook PageOk, what is going on with me and the Facebook Team?! Are they determined to kill everything I put up there? The Page was called Social Media Marketing Advice so why on earth would that qualify for a take down?

After closely reviewing their terms of usage (again) I came to the conclusion that this time they took the Page down because I had used one of the popular F-logos in my graphics. Now come on! Everybody and their butler use them all over the web!

You can see the infamous F-tile (among other famous social media logos) at the bottom of the image I used on my custom landing page. Doesn’t this make you wonder if it really was necessary to kill my Page?

Luckily I still have my Twitter account alive and kickin’ for the service. Twitter is not nearly as picky on these infringement issues as FB.

In their terms Facebook states that if they remove your content for infringing someone else’s copyright, and you believe they’ve removed it by mistake, Facebook will provide you with an opportunity to appeal. Well that’s all great, however, they don’t provide any links to this procedure on their emails. You will have to look for it and dig it out from their legal mumbo jumbo docs.

By the way, the Facebook’s DMCA counter-notice form is here should you ever feel the need to use it. I think I will actually give it a go and see what happens. I’ll keep you posted on that.

What you need to do to keep your Facebook Pages safe

If you are managing Facebook Pages which violate Facebook’s terms and conditions I would strongly advise you to clean them up or get rid of them. Especially pay attention to trademark infringements and copyright issues. For example if you have a Facebook Page called Google AdSense Advertising chances are it will be deleted without notice sooner or later; and you will risk losing your entire Facebook account.

Here is the entire 5.6 section of Facebook’s Statement of Rights & Responsibilities. It deals with protecting other people’s rights on Facebook. If you are suspecting that you might be violating other parties’ rights read this through and fix the problems before it’s too late.

  1. You will not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law.
  2. We (Facebook) can remove any content or information you post on Facebook if we believe that it violates this Statement.
  3. We will provide you with tools to help you protect your intellectual property rights. To learn more, visit our How to Report Claims of Intellectual Property Infringement page.
  4. If we remove your content for infringing someone else’s copyright, and you believe we removed it by mistake, we will provide you with an opportunity to appeal.
  5. If you repeatedly infringe other people’s intellectual property rights, we will disable your account when appropriate.
  6. You will not use our copyrights or trademarks (including Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Wall and 32665), or any confusingly similar marks, without our written permission.
  7. If you collect information from users, you will: obtain their consent, make it clear you (and not Facebook) are the one collecting their information, and post a privacy policy explaining what information you collect and how you will use it.
  8. You will not post anyone’s identification documents or sensitive financial information on Facebook.
  9. You will not tag users or send email invitations to non-users without their consent.

For the time being I’m done with creating more Facebook Pages for myself. Instead, for this blog I’m now managing a Facebook Group as well as a LinkedIn Group.

Facebook has upgraded their Groups recently and they are not that sensitive to all kinds of rules and regulations. Actually, in some cases Facebook Groups work better than Pages.

Have you had similar experiences with your Facebook Pages? Have you perhaps suffered a loss as well? Let me know and let’s frown together.

[skull image: Simon Howden]

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About Kris Olin

Kris Olin is a web designer specialised in SEO, social media marketing, Facebook advertising and Internet promotion strategies. Kris has a masters degree in marketing, MSc (Econ.) and he has written the Facebook Advertising Guide. Follow Kris on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and .

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35 Responses to “Warning! This Is How You Lose Your Facebook Page”

  1. Carolyn Nicander Mohr Says:

    Wow, scary article. I can understand why Facebook wouldn’t want its trademark used by others but they might have provided you a chance to redeem yourself and a warning before they deleted your page twice!

    So, are you thinking the third time is the charm?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Carolyn, I sure could have used a warning from Facebook! Especially if you have gathered a few hundred fans it only seems fair.

      I do might do another Facebook Page in the future but at the moment I’m quite happy with how the Groups are performing. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply

  2. Aysha Says:

    Dear god NO! And I really hope I dont..So sorry you had to go through all that..Such a hassle…

    Reply

  3. Jennifer Quinn Says:

    EXCELLENT post! Very informative.  I will definitely share this in my circles.  It seems so ambiguous — I wish we could have more access to facebook support staff — this is worse than trying to fight the federal government — and we are all so dependent on it. Yikes!

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Facebook really is notorious to get in touch with. Even Google responds to you sooner (mostly later) but with Facebook it is so hard to get anyone’s attention.

      Twitter on the other do get back to you within 48 hours and their support is excellent. I don’t know how they do it! No wonder they have almost 500 million users already! 

      Thanks for your kind comment, Jennifer.

      Reply

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Really, you know, when you think about it good marketers say give away 80% and sell 20%. So the more you and others talk about and mention Facesn Bitchen the better is is for them. The more they protect themselves the more they will lose. History proves you can’t hold people and ideas any better than you can hold compressed air in your hands. 

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    Reply

  5. John Garrett Says:

    Holy Hannah, Kris! I guess this is the way the 100lb bullies on the block can act when they have all the power.

    I had no idea that’s what happened to Mari’s site. If it can happen to her it can happen to anyone.

    So you had a pretty good Twitter overlap with fans and such? Do you feel like you lost a good deal of people?

    I suppose a zero-tolerance policy saves Facebook a lot of man hours where someone has to use their judgement and make a decision, but it also engenders some ill-will that (to me) is completely avoidable.

    Recently I read of one of a blogger who had her Twitter account shut down. Even though they did not reinstate it, they at least responded to her and told her why so she could avoid trouble in the future. Facebook is apparently content to keep frustrating people needlessly…

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      John, it seems that Facebook has become so big that it just doesn’t have to care about these things. 

      Or, it is unable to care. By this I mean that Facebook has grown so big so fast that their customer service resources just can’t pick up the speed. This happens so easily with large companies on the move. Somehow Twitter has been able to deal with this, so I’d suggest that FB would do some head hunting from their office and fix these customer care issues.

      There is no second chance with Facebook so I made sure that I deleted all my questionable FB Pages as well as cleaned up my existing ones. All should be good now.

      Next I have to deal with this domain name of my blog. You wouldn’t know anyone who has changed the domain on their Word Press blog?

      Reply

  6. Brankica | How to blog Says:

    I bet if you suggested the name change they would say you can’t do it cause you have more than 100 fans. Although they do it easily for bigger names. They are so two-faced it is terrible. 

    I remember a few months back when they shut down a page “for copyright”, the page had about 45.000 fans and the copyright issue was in fact that the page was the victim of the infringement, but the violator was the one that was spending piles of money on FB ads, so go figure… 

    Is there still a limit to 5.000 members of the group?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thank you for your comment, Brankica. There’s no limit on how many members a Facebook Group can have. The 5.000 you are thinking of is how many friends you can have for your personal account.

      Another 5k limit is that once your Facebook Group goes over 5.000 members, you can’t invite the members to a group event and you can’t message all of them in bulk any more. What a weird rule this is really!

      Brankica, are you able to tell us more about the case you mentioned where FB shut down the 45k fans Page? What was the copy right issue? Sounds like a very interesting case!

      Reply

      • Brankica | How to blog Says:

        Sure, it was SiteSell page (they are big hosting company from Canada, well not just hosting but it doesn’t matter in this case :)

        I think they were at about 45.000 when Facebook closed their page. Which was a very active community, not just something that “exists” on FB. No warning, nothing, if I remember well, they got some template email about the copyright reason for closing the page. 

        They contacted all the users, which I am one of them too and asked to email Facebook to kinda guarantee for them. So all the effort thousands of fans put into it resulted in the page being reinstated. They are well over 60.000 fans now. The copyright issue that is the only one anyone could connect to the page was the fact that a company (I think it was Volusion or something like that) way paying Facebook ads to promote their service and one of the ads was something along the lines “Our service is better than SiteSell” which is against the rules, same if I paid to run an ad and say “My blog is better than facebook-advertising-marketing.com”, and the ads were showing up in the sidebars of SiteSell users. People kept reporting the ad and I believe the company did too. So it had to be some confusion although not a nice one on the part of FB. Obviously they like advertisers more than anything. I am a bit vague cause I can’t remember the exact details but it happened this summer and they posted about it on their blog, it is easy to find a link if you wanna read on it. 

        And funny enough FB put the page back up with no explanation…nothing…

        What are we small people to do that have several hundreds or a couple of thousands fans if this is to happen???

        Reply

        • KrisOlin Says:

          Thanks for sharing this Brankica,

          It’s great that they got the Page back. They had some ‘people power’ behind them so it was possible. Regarding smaller FB Pages it would not be as easy.
          Crazy reason to get expelled though!

          Reply

  7. Jayne Kopp Says:

    Hi Kris, wow… what a shame.  I can imagine how you felt.  I once had my Twitter Account shut down and felt like I’d been punched in the stomach.  Luckily… it was a technical ‘glitch’… (thankfully)… but for those few hours I felt pretty badly. 

    I have had video’s nooked from You Tube and for no good reason.  I think on one of them I make the suggestion that I earned a decent living and that it was my firm belief that ‘with hard work’ anyone could earn an excellent living online. 

    I known I’m not the only one who said (or continues) to say that, but I never got my video’s back and they had very high usage.  It really sucked large!  (especially because I didn’t make any income claims or guarantees! ) :-(

    I don’t blame you for giving up on the idea.  After all there are other methods you can use, as you know. 

    good luck Kris.

    Jayne

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jayne

      I’ve got one music video on YouTube as well where there is a copyright notice on it. Check it out here: http://youtu.be/1vnu0qhMmQ8 

      This is very odd as I produced it and directed it (a long time ago); and I have the master tape here in my basement. Hmmm,… go figure. I hope it can stay on Tube though as it has over 160k views on it! 

      Ps. Just in case you’re wondering what that language is. It’s Finnish.

      Reply

  8. MarlaMayes Says:

    Another reason why I don’t do Facebook at all! 

    Reply

  9. The Internet Conference Says:

    Very interesting! Since it is “social” media, you would think they link the publicity that all of their users give them by using their logo, etc. You would think it customary to at least send a warning stating what their issues or objections are? I will definitely be sharing and linking to your article.

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      I agree. Facebook is a brand, and as such it would be important to spread the brand insignia everywhere. You don’t see Facebook in the top 100 brands lists yet, whereas it biggest competitor, Google is no 4; so in the meantime it would be advisable to loosen up and let the logos spread. 

      Reply

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I’m happy I read this. 

    I’ve been advising folks to review the contest rules prior to creating a contest, but wasn’t aware that using a Facebook icon in your profile picture was against policy. Mind you, out of precaution I never recommended it, but didn’t realize that Facebook was that tight about it.
    Thanks for the post! 

    Reply

  11. KamoWeb Says:

    Thanks for sharing this, so others can avoid what you have been through. So sorry your FB page was shut down… twice! That must be so discouraging. Glad to hear you have come up with an alternative course of action and are satisfied with that.

    May I suggest that you think about changing your favicon on this blog. It looks very similar to FB’s own favicon, which might not bode well for you, since they sure seem to be keeping an eye on your online presence.

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Thanks for the tip about the Favicon, KamoWeb! I had forgotten all about that.

      I have actually decided to change the domain name of this blog this week.

      It will be http://socialmediarevolver.com/

      This name will actually serve the blog lot better as we are not all about Facebook anymore.

      I’m just in the (rather unpleasant process) of moving everything over so that all the posts URL’s remain and I don’t lose any of that all important SEO juice. Wish me luck…

      If you want to help me out it would be great if you could go and click on that Twitter button on the temp. homepage. http://socialmediarevolver.com/ This would push the brand new domain name into circulation a bit more.

      Cheers,
      Kris

      Reply

  12. Pageone GoogleRankings Says:

    Chris, I’ve just stopped by your blog via your Facebook group. You’ve got some fantastic posts here and I will be sifting through them, and your latest ones, in the future. 

    I have a Facebook group that uses a Facebook Logo. I’ll be changing that now as the group does bring me a nice flow of enquiries. So thanks for the heads up and sorry to hear they squashed your efforts without so much as a warning.

    With the recent craze of ‘social media companies’ selling Facebook fans & Twitter followers, the bigwigs have had to tighten up in so many areas.

    I seem to get blocked from sending friend requests, more often than not, and the amount of ‘dodgy’ profiles that are trying to add my personal account is getting more and more each day.

    I wonder what the results of the fake follower craze will be?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Facebook can be really tough on abuse. One mistake and you’re out. It is a good idea to remove all FB related logos and other stuff from your FB pages and groups just to be on the safe side.I checked out your Facebook account and you might be in risk there as it is a personal account collecting ‘friends’ instead of ‘Likes’. FB rules state that you can’t use personal accounts for business purposes. Instead you should use a Facebook Page. That might be the reason for getting blocked for your friend requests. It might be a good idea to start moving your friends to an official Facebook Page. 
      Thank you for your comment, mate! Let me know if you decide to go with a Facebook Page and I will most certainly throw you a Like.

      Reply

  13. Pageone GoogleRankings Says:

    Sorry, just thought I’d pop back and add that the amount of comments I am getting on my blog posts, along the lines of this is ridiculous:

    “10 Easy To Swallow Social Media Tips For Dummies! – I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks! your article about 10 Easy To Swallow Social Media Tips For Dummies! -Best Regards Agata ”

    I always had a bit of spam, who doesn’t, but the rate of it is ridiculous. Most of them seem to be from dodgy FB users, too.

    Nice one, you ‘social media gurus’, for selling mr x all of those dodgy followers and fans. I now have spam in my inbox, on my website and all over my Facebook platforms to take chunks of time out of my days!

    Reply

  14. Dipanmoy Says:

    Yesterday I lost my page called Faccebook Hits. I hope you understand why it was deleted. It had 150k fans and everyday I used to post 100 times on it. All my efforts gone waste and now when I am mailing them, there is no reply. I showed them that there are so many pages on FB which violated the rights but none of them has been pulled down. Then why this biased attitude with some people. I know they don’t have a reply for this. Their mechanism is weak to delete all pages which infringe the rights. Thank you for your post. Loved reading this. Shall I report in that DMCA thing? Will that help ?

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Ouch! It’s gotta hurt when you lose 150k fans on Facebook! Especially when there are still lots of FB Pages in violation of their TOS; and more are popping up every week!

      I don’t think you’ll get your page back as it is probably in the category of ‘typosquatters’. It’s worth a try though. Let us know if you decide to give it a go.

      Looks like you are trying another go with http://www.facebook.com/Faccebook.Hits

      I would suspect this will eventually suffer the same faith as the first one as you are using the official Facebook logo in your profile picture. If they take this Page down as well you will risk losing your personal account with it, so be careful. 

      Reply

  15. Ken Uhlik Says:

    I almost lost my facebook page by commenting on a post by someone i was following(Makeuseof.com)(about making fake facebook pages=supposingly a joke but i did not see it that way.He (Mark O’neill,so called editor)wanted me to take back my comment which i refused.Facebook threatened me with expulsion.I guess they listen to publishers more then the people who make facebook work.IT MIGHT BE TIME TO TAKE FACEBOOK DOWN

    Reply

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