How can companion animals (pets) have their own Facebook page? There should be a simple answer. However, clearly, a lot of Facebook users have not found the answer simple. A lot of people who have Facebook accounts appear to have set up an account for their companion animal or some other animal which, inadvertently, is in breach of the Facebook rules and regulations.
The problem is that the rules are rather difficult to understand. I confess, that having done 45 minutes research I’m not sure that I fully understand them myself and my answers have not come from Facebook!
What is clear is this, it is in breach of the rules if you set up an account for anyone other than yourself:
“You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission […] You will not create more than one personal account.”
However, this appears to be only part of the story. This is because it is possible to set up a page on Facebook for one’s companion animal. After all, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook has done just that. He has a page on Facebook, which is dedicated to a fluffy little dog who is listed under Facebook’s rules as a “public figure”. The dog is a breed of Hungarian sheepdog: small and white.
A person can set up a Facebook page – and the word “page” has a significance in this instance beyond the usual meaning of the word such as in the phrase “web page” – for his or her pet. There are many pages for example on Facebook which are dedicated to animal rescue. The page is something anybody can visit and “Like”, apparently. FB pages are for groups, organisations and, as mentioned, public figures such as Mark’s dog.
Apparently, many people who have signed up with Facebook and created a personal account have then used them to create an animal rescue group page or a page for their companion animal.
I don’t blame these people for making a mistake because it is exactly the kind of mistake that I would make when using Facebook because as far as I’m concerned the rules are confusing.
This sort of mistake represents a proportion of the 83 million Facebook accounts that Facebook considers to be fake. Apparently about 30 million of the 83 million fake accounts are misclassified accounts, namely, personal profiles that have been turned into a pet page or a page for a group or company.
In the middle of 2012, there was lots of talk about Facebook deleting the so-called fake accounts. When an account is deleted a lot, practically all, of the connections and work involved in building the page is lost with it. There appears to be no comeback, no appeal and no chance to recover the situation.
As I understand it, the following link takes you to the Facebook page where a person can create a Facebook page for their use under one of six headings which are (a) local business or place (b) company, organisation or institution (c) brand or product (d) artist, band or public figure (e) entertainment (f) cause or community.
My Facebook page for this website is set up under the subheading F, “cause or community” (I believe!).
The reason why these rules are so strict on Facebook is because they are unable to target advertising accurately unless they know where the targets are. And we know that Facebook is a highly competitive public (shareholder owned) business and its value is based upon the revenue that it can earn for its shareholders.