It’s official, the UWGB facebook page is no longer official

The UWGB facebook page has been demoted to a “community” page. At one time, community pages were created by facebook when an interest shared on a profile didn’t match* an existing page. It gave your interest a home to link to, so you could connect with others with the same interest. Community pages are not run by a single author, and they don’t generate News Feed stories… basically, they’re the opposite of what our official page used to be.

Good news, facebook has linked our newly demoted page to the “official” page.

Bad news, the official page is yesterday’s community page — a Wikipedia-populated clone produced by facebook. It is lifeless. It hasn’t been nurtured. It growls when humans approach.

Wikipedia-populated? Clone? Sounds a little harsh, maybe you’re just upset.

True, someone just kidnapped** my four year old, upset is where I’ll remain until I get him back. But I speak the truth, they are populated by the very Wikipedia entry that I edit over on Wikipedia.org. And they are clones, facebook has covered most of our potential spellings by creating duplicate pages (pages that I’ve continuously reported as duplicates because they fragment our community — 2,470, 356 and 311 likes for a combined 3,137 people who might prefer our true “official” page but were misguided by facebook’s attempt at creating interest hubs).

So why the rant? Nothing better to blog about?

I’ve filed a “bug report” with facebook. Provided a screenshot. Complained on twitter. So this was the next logical step to form a more structured complaint. And yes, I will post it to my facebook profile.

The sad truth is, unless you know someone at facebook, unless you have a connection… THEY DON’T LISTEN. They don’t have to. It’s a free service. You don’t pay a dime. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Move on…

Unfortunately, I’ve leached my career on the existence of facebook and other social web hangouts. I don’t need them to function perfectly, just fairly. If the University account is no longer able to generate News Feed stories, I’m in a world of hurt. But if we’re the only University in the UW System to experience the loss of this feature, it’s game over.

So this isn’t so much a rant as it is a plea.

Dear Facebook, I accept your faults. Nobody is perfect. But please spread your faults evenly across the ecosystem. Listen to all of the cries, not just the ones from the big universities, wealthy companies or incredibly famous people. Act as quickly when a “bug” is reported by an insignificant member as you would if it were reported by a valued investor. I guess what I’m saying is, suck evenly for everyone. If you’re going to flip online properties from official pages to community pages, get a bigger spatula and flip everyone at the same time.

As with most facebook issues I experience, I know I’m not alone, I have fellow ranters over on twitter (see above). And I also realize that time heals nearly all facebook complaints. But while I wait, I will vent. I will tweet, I will blog, and I will share my unhappiness. Not because it’s what I want to do, but because it’s the only thing I can do.

*I’m guessing that to facebook, “match” means the exact spelling. Therefore, even though there was a UWGB page in place, they felt the need to create a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, UW-Green Bay and UWGB page. Wait, what? Never mind.

**If you believe your page is NOT a community page, you can remove the link… unfortunately, the directions facebook provides are flawed. There is no “Fix this” to click. AND upon attempting to remove the link to the new “official” page, your efforts are rewarded by it defaulting back after you click the “Save Changes” button. Helpless and frustrated… the emotions you feel when facebook goes boom.

UPDATE: Decided to like the new “official” page so I could post a link to the correct “official” page…

Also noticed that since the page pulls its content from Wikipedia, and since I edit the Wikipedia page, it actually lists the correct “official” page. Funny, yet sad…

How can you help? (hat tip @lougan)

    Go to facebook.com/uwgreenbay

  1. Click the “Is this wrong?” link in the page label
  2. Select “This is the official page about UWGB”
  3. Click submit.

UPDATE 2: As noted by Deborah in the comments, the “Is this wrong?” link has vanished.

FINAL UPDATE: All better now!

22 thoughts on “It’s official, the UWGB facebook page is no longer official

  1. Todd, our Facebook Newsroom site was just re-branded a community page, although the wall still shows our own posts. We’re not seeing any process to notify Facebook that this is NOT a community page. Any insight?

  2. Pingback: I got my baby back! | The Social Web at UWGB

  3. This was a technical issue on our part and is now resolved. These Pages should go back to normal when the fix gets pushed out. Thank you!

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  5. This is bizarre – One of seven of our “official pages” has been “communitized”. Still looking for an answer and hoping to be spared this problem with the others.

    I tried to go to your UWGB (http://www.facebook.com/uwgreenbay) and and it is not giving me the option to mark it as official.

  6. Todd thanks for sharing this and forewarning other schools about the potential changes that may need to be made. As a former community manager at a B2C agency I know how frustrating the automatic “community page” creation can be when you’re golden egg is the “official FB page”.

    Gabe just wrote about some of the downfalls of relying on FB Pages or Groups on the Inigral blog (I’ll refrain from posting the self promoted link) but this is an important story to be told. The question I have for schools is: “does Facebook have your best interest in mind?”

  7. Todd,

    What a pain! I went to Facebook to click the “is this wrong?” in the page label, but the phrase doesn’t display?

  8. Thanks for the blog post. Glad to know we’re not the only ones in this boat. Your advice on how our followers can help was very helpful. Hopefully Facebook will see the error of their ways and correct this. I’m not going to hold my breath however.

  9. Same thing happened to us. I had no response from Facebook either when trying to designate the “official” page, so to solve the issue I merged the two pages, which Facebook responded to within 48 hours.

    I hope that helps!

    • I’m given a list of pages that I can merge, and the one I’d like to merge with isn’t listed. Thanks for sharing the tip though!

  10. This happened to Wisconsin Lutheran College last night, and I felt the same way: that something I had developed and nurtured for four years had been taken from me. Very frustrated right now.

  11. Read about this on collegewebeditor… I marked your page as official from both my and my college FB accounts, and am spreading the word to others around here to do the same. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  12. Our page has not flipped over yet (?) (fingers crossed). I followed your steps above to mark your community page as the Official page about UWGB.

  13. Pingback: Has Facebook “Stolen” your FB official #highered page? | collegewebeditor.com

  14. Todd,

    This is awful! As a fellow higher ed community manager, I don’t know what I would do if this happens to us. I marked the page as the official, and I hope it helps! Good luck, and keep us updated!

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