How to get your dog kicked off Facebook

March 9, 2011

Is your dog on Facebook? How about your cat, ferret, animal shelter, store, rescue group or, I don’t know… your weather duck? And if they are, did a common mistake in setting up their Facebook presences leave you at risk of getting them deleted from the world’s largest social network?

I keep seeing people speculating that Beast Zuckerberg is getting special treatment as the dog of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, in that he has his own Facebook page when “everyone knows” that pet pages aren’t allowed and are subject to deletion.

But that’s not true. Beast has a Facebook page, which is what all businesses, brands, websites, companies, organizations, books, products, animal shelters, rescue groups, public figures, and yes, pets, are supposed to have.

What they can’t have is a Facebook profile, which is a very different “beast,” even though the differences aren’t always obvious to the casual Facebook user.

Personal profiles are what individual human beings create in their real names on Facebook.

Pages, such as this one for PetConnection.com or this for Dr. Marty Becker, are what you want to create for anything other than your personal use in your own, real name. You need to have a personal profile to create a page.

Personal profiles — this is mine — have different functions than pages — this is mine, which is for my professional presence rather than my social life.

A personal profile is private to just your “friends,” is not fully searchable on Google, and has to be in your own real name, and can only be created by and for a real human being.

In order to connect with another individual real person on Facebook, both parties have to agree to be “friends,” in response to a “friend request” from one of them.

In order to connect with a page, all you have to do is click the “Like” button for that page. The owner of the page doesn’t get a notice that you “liked” it, and they don’t have to approve the “like” (although they can ban you from the page after the fact).

Messages posted by pages will show up in your feed just like those posted by your friends using their profiles, but you can sort your feed to view just pages or just friends if you prefer.

Pages are public and are fully searchable by Google.

Additionally, while a page can comment in the name of the page to another page, they can’t (with one rare exception) make a comment to an individual’s profile.

Pages can “like” other pages, but they can’t become someone’s “friend.”

Critically for organizations, good causes, and companies, a personal profile maxes out at 5,000 friends, while the number of “likes” your page can have is unlimited.

Most importantly, having a profile in a name other than your own real name is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. Profiles created for pets, businesses, shelters, etc. are subject to immediate deletion if Facebook discovers them. While their enforcement of this is extremely limited, people have gotten their pets’ profiles, or those of their business or organization, deleted, and lost all contact with their “friends.” Which might only be somewhat upsetting if it’s for your dog, but is pretty devastating for a business or shelter.

So if you want to follow in Bernadette’s webbed footsteps, make a page for your pet. Do it here.

And since Gina left me in charge, what the heck. Got a page for a pet? Post it here!

Image from a PowerPoint presentation I authored on “The Three Biggest Social Media Mistakes.” Graphic by Amy Suggars.

Filed under: pets, connected — Christie Keith @ 2:09 pm

21 Comments »

  1. Bernadette welcomes legions of new followers … uh … fans.

    Comment by Gina Spadafori — March 9, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  2. Well, heck. Louie has his own page where all who care to can follow his (mis)adventures: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Louies-Page/105757646150624

    He’s always looking for new friends, because he’s a cute little drama king with 43 lives (at last count).

    Comment by Laura Sterner — March 9, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  3. Hmm. I’ll try this again.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Louies-Page/105757646150624

    Comment by Laura Sterner — March 9, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  4. There’s also dogbook (and inserttypeofanimalherebook) which is now and app. I don’t think it was an app when I first signed Kasey up for it, and it certainly doesn’t see much activity as far as I can see.

    Comment by Original Lori — March 9, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  5. I want to be able to screen those looking at our page….if you just “like” a page, as we set one up before…there are undesirables that have “liked” our page.
    Are you able to block or remove those people?

    Comment by Mary — March 9, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  6. Mary, yes, you can. You can either simply remove them from your “likes,” or permanently ban them.

    Comment by Ingrid King — March 9, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  7. However, you can’t prevent them from LOOKING AT the page. Pages are public.

    If you want something that only a limited number of people can see, that’s a Group. But Groups don’t appear in the news feed. People have to remember to check them.

    Comment by Christie Keith — March 9, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  8. follow us at http://www.facebook.com/PuppyJones we are 2 beagles and a mutt with our own comic and blog! arroooo!

    Comment by Puppy Jones — March 9, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  9. Okay…
    thank you for clarification…

    Comment by Mary — March 9, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  10. The other thing about groups is that people will be notified that you’ve put them into one. So you can’t have a group of people if you don’t want them to know they’ve been grouped :)

    Comment by Laura Sterner — March 9, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  11. Well, I guess you’ve welcomed our new overlords with open arms.

    I don’t care what facebook wants. My dog has a profile because he is on there to interact with his friends. He is not a public figure, a product or an organization. He is a canine being.

    I am also convinced that what Facebook really wants is clean user data sets that they can sell, profiting off our private information and site use, and that is the reason they don’t want fictional accounts or multiple accounts for the same person. They don’t want us to define how we use the internet, they want to define it so they can profit off it. Like I said, i don’t care what they want. When they kick my dog off, they lose me too.

    Comment by Alison — March 9, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  12. There are actually two kinds of groups on Facebook, the old ones, which are like forums, and the new ones, which are, well… stupid and pointless organizational tools of newsfeeds, basically. Not that I have an opinion or anything.

    I’m not a fan of either one, frankly.

    Comment by Christie Keith — March 9, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  13. Yeah, Dogbook is pretty moribund. It’s also something of a walled garden of its own, with an independent photo sharing system and an updating system that doesn’t seem to change anything on the owner’s Facebook wall.

    Comment by Rob McMillin — March 9, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  14. Comment by Laura Sterner — March 9, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    “So you can’t have a group of people if you don’t want them to know they’ve been grouped :)”

    Well I would CERTAINLY want to know if I’d been groped!

    Oh. Wait. That was grouped! With a “u”.

    nevermind . . . . . . . . . . .

    Comment by The OTHER Pat — March 9, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  15. “Well, I guess you’ve welcomed our new overlords with open arms.

    I don’t care what facebook wants.”

    Good grief, that’s dramatic!
    You do realize that Facebook belongs to actual real people, not something your tax dollars pay for, right? If their practices and policies are so offensive to you there is a simple option……don’t use it!

    Comment by Roxanne Self — March 9, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  16. My 7 siberians have a page and love to share their tales of what the humans did or didn’t do for them or whats going on in their exciting life.

    Comment by Val — March 9, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

  17. http://www.facebook.com/TheHuskyBrigade – here’s their page

    Comment by Val — March 9, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  18. So Facebook hasn’t gone to the dogs. Thanks for clarifying.
    So … are there more dog or cat pages here?

    Comment by Roberta Beach Jacobson — March 9, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  19. This is such important information for rescues and shelters. Also one of the added advantages to the pages over profiles is there is NO limit to how many people like you! And really isnt that the point?

    Both of my dogs have pages.
    http://www.facebook.com/Cleotheittybittypittieprincess is for Cleo, former fight house dog turned into princess. Her’s is new.

    http://www.facebook.com/caesarthefabulouspittiebullcgc
    Caesar has his own page and he has been around quite a while. Local breed ambassadog, Caesar shares the world through his eyes.

    Comment by Cindy Steinle — March 10, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  20. This is Binx, he’s my Service Dog and we started a page for him when he was still training. Here is his link:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Binx-CGC-SDIT/138133616216583

    Comment by Susan — March 10, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  21. Branson has a page, but it is a fan page.
    http://www.facebook.com/bigbranson

    Comment by Branson — March 13, 2011 @ 6:10 am

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