This morning I got an email from the owner of the “Cristiano Ronaldo” public profile stating that he had been disable after attracting over 2.85 million fans. The reason? Most likely because the public profile wasn’t an official public profile and despite the owner having semi-approval from the soccer player’s agency, Facebook proceeded to shut it down. It’s not the first time we’ve seen large “unofficial” public profiles shut down.
Months ago Facebook disabled the “Homer J Simpson” public profile which had become one of the top 5 most popular profiles at the time. Facebook never told us why the public profile had been disabled but it would be safe to assume that the owner wasn’t the legitimate brand manager. Does it make sense for Facebook to aggressively shut down unofficial public profiles? Here’s a letter the owner of the Crisitiano Ronaldo public profile admin received from the player’s agency:
Dear [Profile Owner’s Name],
Your Job with the page of CR is impressive, congratulations. We are developing a strategy with CR in the web and Facebook will obviously be one way. We hope that we can launch all the official pages already this year. We could cooperate in the future with this but I’ll contact you in the future with further information. Your knowledge and past would be very interested for us.
Regarding all the situations that you are putting, being a fans page, you can sell the advertising space to any company that you want. Being an official page, we can only ad Cristiano´s official sponsors. Please remember to always refer the person that owns the images and videos and that you keep as unofficial page.
I will contact you as soon as possible.
[Agency Representative Name]
I’m not quite sure that this is the stamp of approval from the player’s agency to be honest but the company doesn’t appear to be overly frustrated about the situation. Theoretically the agency could have worked with this individual to build a larger presence but instead they’ll now have to start from scratch. While many brands have been complaining about unofficial public profiles, this is a standard issue for any social media platform.
Twitter has tons of fake profiles and all Twitter does is shut down any username squatters. Beyond that Twitter does little to police their platform. Facebook has taken an aggressive stance and I’d assume the goal is to attract more large brand managers. Is it worth the time for Facebook to police the more than 1 million public profile that have been created so far?
This is up for debate. While Facebook attempts to appease large brand managers, Twitter’s free spirit appears to be attracting all the celebrities. Do you think Facebook should be pursuing unofficial public profile owners? How about generic public profile owners (e.g. “Pizza” or “Sleeping”)?