Facebook Migrating Unofficial Page Fans to Official Pages at Brand Owner’s Request

facebook opera mini fan pageRupesh Mandal is such an avid fan of the Opera Mini web browser that he set up a Page on Facebook totally devoted to celebrating it, and then recruited others to join. That’s why he was surprised last week when he discovered that his page had been deleted and all the fans of his page had been migrated to the “official” Opera browser Page on Facebook.

In response, Mandal contacted to Opera to learn what happened. Lawrence Eng, an Opera employee, responded by writing in the comments on Mandal’s blog:

Hi Rupesh,

This is Lawrence Eng.

I’m not in the department at Opera that handles our Facebook presence, but I’ve helped some of my colleagues with that. Over the last several months, we have been working on creating our official Opera fan page(s) on Facebook. Since Facebook does not check who creates fan pages, several unofficial Opera-related fan pages have been created in the past, and we’ve sent messages to the page admins asking if those pages could be removed.

In the process of setting up our new pages recently, some of my colleagues have been in contact with Facebook, and should have been in contact with you as well, but apparently that didn’t happen. I apologize on their behalf. I’m not entirely sure, but I believe that the goal was to have Opera Mini fans on your page transferred over to an official “Opera Mini” page that was recently created (and not the Opera Browser page), effectly transferring admin privileges over to Opera. I’m not sure, but I believe Facebook made an error there, which we will work to rectify.

The Facebook terms of service are pretty straightforward in terms of who is supposed to create and maintain “Fan pages”, but I also agree that they are bit confusingly named, which may have led to some misunderstandings. Facebook also allows anyone to create Groups on any topic, and Opera users have and are certainly free to create Opera-related groups.

Anyhow, we should have contacted you about our new page superceding yours, and we apologize again for failing to do that. Let me thank you personally for your support of Opera and taking the initiative to spread the word about Opera Mini.

Sincerely,
Lawrence

facebook page warningFacebook Pages are Facebook’s product intended for brand owners to make a corporate home on Facebook. However, because anyone can create a Page, cases like Mandel’s are sure to arise, and otherwise well-intentioned “fans” may feel left with a bad taste in their mouth.

Facebook should be more proactive in communicating with those from whom Page ownership is being revoked, both to inform users more on what is happening with their creations and to preserve their goodwill with the brands.