Facebook's Inconsistent Pages Policy

Eric Eldon sent me an email asking about my statement that Facebook has blocked the majority of iLike’s musician pages. I shouldn’t have said that because it is incorrect. I simply assume that Facebook has blocked the majority of them because a number of them have disappeared as Justin Smith reported. Given that Facebook expects brand owners to create the pages, Facebook could technically block all of iLike’s musician pages.

iLike would be able to argue that this isn’t a justified action given that the brand owners created the iLike page and in doing so agreed to have their music promoted via Facebook’s pages. No matter what position is right here, one thing is clear: Facebook will have difficulty enforcing their Pages policy. As I wrote last week, Facebook Pages could soon become a target for spam. While Facebook may have users that are moderating the Pages, it will be difficult to manually filter hundreds of thousands if not millions of Pages.

Currently, Facebook has no system in place for confirming that you are a brand owner except for those that are trying to create music pages. While I Mashable has published screenshots of Facebook requiring users to upload a copy of their identification prior to publshing a page, I wasn’t asked for verification after creating a band or after creating a Howard Dean page (which I have since removed). Facebook is going to need to enforce the validity of their Pages if they want their new offering to succeed.

Otherwise, owners of popular brand pages can use brand popularity to advertise their own services. I wonder what Facebook will do to resolve this issue. Have any ideas?

Ali Partovi, CEO of iLike, posted the following update regarding the music pages. Apparently they removed the pages on their own.

Hey this is Ali from iLike.

Re the comment about iLike, here’s the short story… not really much of a story, actually:

Within hours after creating the Pages on Facebook, we found a couple of bugs in the way we had auto-created them. It was our mistake, so to err on the safe side, we voluntarily “unpublished” (but not deleted) all the pages.

We’ve been “republishing” them over the past few days.

Ali Partovi
CEO, iLike