Can you close down an unofficial school Facebook Page?

Can you close down an unofficial school Facebook Page?

Lots of schools have signed up to Facebook to share their school’s news with anyone that “likes” their page. However, many schools were beaten to it by people who made “unofficial” school pages, such as Parents’ Associations, ex-alumni groups, and so on. This is not ideal because the school cannot control what goes out on the Internet on its behalf. However, can a school force an unofficial page to close down and set up their own one? What should they do?

The answer to this question probably falls outside of technology! In fact, the easiest way to try and solve the problem is to go directly to the person running the unofficial page and ask them if the school can it over. This shouldn’t be an issue for the person, and a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates to thank them for running the school page would be a nice gesture. The person should then give the school Administrative rights and then the school can decide who is allowed edit the school page. You might even keep the person on as a contributor to the Facebook Page.

What if the person doesn’t want to give up the page? Again, the answer here isn’t a technology one. I guess this is a situation where one needs to figure out why the person is reluctant and work from there. A school can’t really simply demand that the page is handed over or complain to Facebook. In this case, it might be best to try out the reverse of the Complaints’ Procedure with the administrator of the unofficial page! Start informally and work your way from there.

What if the school doesn’t know who runs the page? In that case, the school needs to contact Facebook to explain that a page has been set up in the school’s name but it isn’t actually the school’s. Obviously, this should be done after trying everything in the school’s power to find out who is running the page.

Effectively, unless the page is doing something inappropriate, one cannot close it down. In fact, most of the work involved in a situation like this involves persuasion skills rather than technological ones!

Last Update: Apr 8, 2018  

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