How To Get Your Facebook Page Deleted (+ What To Do)

23rd Feb, 2011

Just before Christmas I posted how the French retail outlet Kiabi, had their Facebook page, with 130,000 fans, deleted. Kiabi had breached the promotional guidelines on Facebook. Subsequently the retailer reached an agreement with Facebook, and the page was reinstated.Over the last month several more pages have felt the wrath of Facebook, these examples all relate to works of art which were originally perceived as breaching the rules on nudity. Luckily for these offending pages, they had mainstream media or a gigantic Twitter following to help fight their case.

The Cool Hunter

The Cool Hunter is one of the most read design and culture websites in the world. Having launched in 2004 the site has a massive 180,000 fans on their Facebook page. Just yesterday the website was accused of being in breach of Facebook’s guidelines on nudity. A tweet posted by @thecoolhunter yesterday lunchtime read;

Anyone work @facebook? – they have disabled our TCH Fan page – 180k fans, without any warning. have tried contacting…

The offending photo is below, it’s not exactly offensive and as was pointed out by The Cool Hunter could feature in an advert for Breast Cancer. With such a strong online following, the #freethecoolhunter tag was trending on Twitter as people became outraged at Facebook’s action. Less than 24 hours later and the Facebook page has been reinstated.


New York Academy Of Art (NYAA)

The NYAA regularly posts works of art by students to their Facebook page, back in January the page admin’s found the photo upload feature on their website had been suspended for a week due to a violation of terms. The piece in question was an ink on paper drawing of a womans upper body. The controversy was sparked by this blog post by the NYAA, asking how is Facebook controlling art, since there were other more graphic works of art displayed in photo’s on other pages. The story was picked up in the New York Times, who made contact with a Facebook spokesman;

Facebook now says it made a mistake. While the company bans nude photographs, its representatives say the company has an unwritten policy that allows drawings or sculptures of nudes. It explained that it only reviews images that are flagged by users, and that its staff reviews many thousands of images a day.

The piece goes on to explain how this isn’t an isolated incident either, citing similar stories from last year on the social network. While the NYAA had a week long suspension of the photo uploads feature, the story didn’t gain any media attention until after the suspension finished.

New Creation Photography & Design

At the beginning of January this birth photographer business found Facebook had deleted their page. They specialise in taking womens photo’s right after the moment of birth and had been warned by Facebook last May to remove some offending photo’s. Since then the page had been careful about what photo’s were posted, taking care to crop any pic’s so to stick within the social networks terms. Once the page had been deleted, company owner, Laura Eckert sent more than 30 emails to Facebook without a response. A subsequent campaign to get the page reinstated was picked up by a local TV station. Facebook spokesman Simon Axten told MSNBC in an email, “Of course, we make an occasional mistake. This is an example. When this happens, and it’s brought to our attention, we work quickly to resolve the issue.”

What To Do If Your Page is Deleted

Besides the common theme of nudity in all these examples, these businesses were lucky to have a large network of contacts and people on their side. Although The Cool Hunter couldn’t contact their 180,000 fans on Facebook they still had 65,000 followers on Twitter that helped make it a trending topic. The New York Academy of Art received it’s response when the New York Times intervened and New Creation Photography & Design had their page reinstated after it’s owner appeared on television. While Facebook have said they try to resolve the issue when its brought to their attention, it would seem that 30 emails isn’t enough without getting your story out to a large number of people. However, not many companies may not have that luxury.

Of course the best route is not violate any terms of use. If you do find yourself in such a situation the only way forward is to appeal to Facebook directly. E-mailing may not work as the final example above demonstrates, so the best way to make contact is to speak with someone you know inside Facebook or speak with an agency who has connections within Facebook and can follow up on your behalf. For personal profiles that have been deleted Facebook can be contacted here.