Facebook Explains Decision To Remove Political Pages

The outcry following the canning of dozens of Facebook profiles and user pages with political motives, including UCL Occupation, from the social website, has prompted an official response from the site's "user operations" department.

In an email sent to activist groups whose accounts were deactivated, Facebook pointed out that profiles were intended to represent individual people and that it is a violation of Facebook's SRR (Statement of Rights and Responsibilities) to use a profile to represent a "brand, business, group, or organization".

Facebook also added that the banned organisations may wish to convert their profiles to pages instead, with accounts associated with their profile being converted to business accounts while friends would become followers.

But, as one commentator pointed out, apparently only the profile picture will be moved across while existing content and wall posts will be lost with the administrator having to upload photos and profile information again; in addition, Facebook has removed the possibility of mass-inviting people to like a page unless they are the page administrator.

Last Thursday, more than 50 Facebook user profiles and pages were deactivated without prior warning, a move that coincided with the May Day weekend and the Royal wedding.