If an administrator selects to delete one of their Facebook Pages, it will now remain visible to the public for a 14 day restoration period in which the admin can cancel the deletion before it becomes permanent. Admins can also opt to “unpublish” their Page if they want it immediately removed from public view. Previously, admins could instantly delete their Pages permanently.
The change to the Page deletion process is likely designed to give admins a second chance if they impulsively decide to delete their Page but soon reconsider. It should also help prevent Pages from unauthorized deletion by a malicious admin or hacker, and reduce the number of customer service inquiries Facebook receives about unwanted Page deletions.
The Page deletion flow is now as follows:
- An admin selects “Delete Page” from the Manage Permissions tab of the Edit Page interface
- They see a prompt informing them they’ll have 14 days to cancel the deletion before it becomes permanent
- They can select to unpublish the Page immediately to hide it from public view, which automatically sets their “Page Visibility” to “
- Their Manage Permissions tab shows the number of days until the scheduled deletion and the option to cancel the deletion
- After 14 days, Facebook asks the admin to confirm they want to delete the Page
- If the admin accepts, the Page is permanently deleted and all its content and fans are removed
The Likes and content a Page accumulates over time are valuable. Facebook doesn’t want users to throw it all away only to regret their decision later and have to go through the negative user experience of having to rebuild their Page from scratch. Promotion of Pages through Facebook Ads is a key source of revenue for the site, so keeping more Pages active is in the interest of the social network’s bottom line as well. The change should help Facebook protect itself from customer service inquiries asking for permanently deleted Page to be reinstated.
The option improves security for Pages, as one admin getting their account hacked or one disgruntled admin can’t unilaterally delete a Page without fellow admins having the chance to avert the deletion. This should make admins more comfortable granting additional team members admin privileges because no one person can instantly the Page.
Page Deletion and the Pharmaceutical Industry
Page deletion has become a serious issue for the pharma industry lately. Previously, Facebook allowed Pages for pharmaceutical companies and communities for specific diseases run by these companies to keep their walls closed to comments. Typically Pages can close their wall to posts by users but not prevent them from commenting on the Page’s posts.
These Pages are now losing this privilege, leading some pharmaceutical companies to delete these Pages rather than risk inflammatory comments about side effects or objectionable content be posted to their walls, which could in turn incite regulatory scrutiny. Pages that represent specific medications may still keep block all user generated content from their walls.
By surfacing the unpublish option in the deletion flow, Facebook may be able to convince admins of these Pages to hide them from the public until a later date once they’ve developed a moderation strategy or struck a new deal with Facebook. Note that the Manage Permissions also includes permits admins to unpublish their Page without initiating the deletion process.
[Thanks to Kevin Evanetski for the tip]