Facebook forced to respond to our campaign for restoration of accounts

Our campaign against Facebook’s arbitrary (and suspiciously timed) deletion of political accounts has forced a response. If an account you administer has been affected and you want to keep your Facebook presence we highly recommend you migrate your Profile to a Page, as described below. We’re still waiting for a full response from Facebook as to why this happened. As Jim Killock, of Open Rights Group, has written we are calling on Facebook to:

  1. Work with these users to transfer their contacts and other information to whatever format Facebook regards as reasonable (eg, users to pages)
  2. Reinstate the suspended pages, with whatever technical changes such as addition of organisation URLs;
  3. Devise a notification system rather than simply deleting content;
  4. Devise a process to migrate “profiles” to “pages”

This is the email activist groups have received from Facebook.

Hi,

As you may know, Facebook profiles are intended to represent
individual people only. It is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of
Rights and Responsibilities to use a profile to represent a brand,
business, group, or organization. As such, your account was disabled
for violating these guidelines.

If you would like to continue representing your organization on
Facebook, we can convert your profile to a Page. During this process,
all the friends of your profile will be converted to followers of your
Page (i.e., people who like it). In addition, the account associated
with your profile will be converted to a business account, from which
you can administrate your Page and your ad campaigns.

If you use this account to manage any groups, please note that you
will lose your administrative rights to these groups once your profile
is converted. To prevent this from happening, we recommend appointing
a new admin to each of your groups before beginning the conversion
process.

For further information regarding this process, visit the Help Center, here:

http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18918

When you’re ready to convert your profile to a Page please respond to
this email at privacy+jsc0vjn@support.facebook.com

If you have additional questions regarding Facebook products and
features, please visit our Help Center, here:

http://www.facebook.com/help.php

Thanks,

Liam
User Operations
Facebook

This has been cross posted from UCL Occupation

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5 Responses to Facebook forced to respond to our campaign for restoration of accounts

  1. Undercurrents says:

    I think it may just a case of bureaucracy..This is an extract from an email activist groups have received from Facebook.

    As you may know, Facebook profiles are intended to represent
    individual people only. It is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities to use a profile to represent a brand, business, group, or organization. As such, your account was disabled for violating these guidelines.

    So FB are stating that the political nature of the pages is fine but you just have to fit into their relevant boxes. Facebook seem to have made it easy to change the profile without losing any of the info/ subscribers etc.

    So before anyone starts yelling about corporate censorship, perhaps people should actually try the changes suggested by FB in the email and then see if the page remains deleted.

  2. cockneyreject says:

    I wasn’t just pages/profiles representing groups either, my page was deleted minutes after posting my views on the royal farce.

  3. Jayarava says:

    So. You broke the terms of use, got deleted, But after complaining were offered an easy solution which was within the terms, and would leave you no worse off. And you are complaining about what? Maybe it’s time to RTFM?

    The idea that it might have been related to the wedding is a bit paranoid. The USA based FB were probably ignorant of the event. Funnily enough they don’t really give a shit about Britain.

  4. Mike Harman says:

    I think there’s two equally likely ways this could have happened:

    1. The MET did a mass report of all these groups during the past week or so, and Facebook’s own processes led to them being taken down.

    2. There was an official request (via e-mail or letter) with a list, and those were taken down.

    Also 3. They did a mass report, but followed up with a note on timing.

    What would be interesting is if any actual pages got taken down at the same time – and if not, whether that was requested of Facebook and they refused (since no TOS breach).

    IMO it is more sinister overall if this happened via using Facebook’s own reporting tools and an official request – it doesn’t mean Facebook wouldn’t comply with the police in the future, but it shows very clearly that there doesn’t even need to be an official relationship/co-operation with the police for this to happen. This is not part of web infrastructure, it’s a private service that happens to have a very high number of subscribers (and twitter, even wordpress.com aren’t really any different, although usage patterns etc. make them very slightly less prone to this, but not necessarily by much).

    On libcom someone mentioned diaspora as an alternative, I’m not convinced it will/can be http://leavediaspora.com

    The idea that ‘US based Facebook were probably ignorant of the Royal Wedding’ is a bit laughable, I bet it’s been on US TV for weeks too.

  5. Hannah says:

    “As you may know, Facebook profiles are intended to represent
    individual people only. It is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of
    Rights and Responsibilities to use a profile to represent a brand,
    business, group, or organization.”
    So what about all the other profiles that represent ‘groups’ on the right? Get a list and send to FB – see how impartial they are

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