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Wikileaks Fan Page Pulled Down for Being "Inauthentic," Says Facebook

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 21 2010

Valleywag reported earlier today on a tweeted complaint from the secret-clearinghouse Wikileaks that a Facebook fan page was deleted with little explanation.

Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes tells me this afternoon that the specific reason why the Wikileaks fan page was pulled down was because it was not an official page maintained by the organization. That made the Wikileaks fan page unacceptably "inauthentic," said Noyes:

The disabled Wikileaks page was flagged as an inauthentic Facebook page and its fans will be migrated to the authentic page soon. The administrator of the inauthentic page violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities [link], particularly Section 12.2, which states: “You may only administer a Facebook page if you are an authorized representative of the subject of the page.”

According to Valleywag's reporting, what was at issue was in fact a "fan club" page, but one that Wikileaks itself seemed to be supportive of. At least, in a tweet earlier this month, @wikileaks posted "Join our Facebook Fanclub at http://bit.ly/wl-fanclub ! (owner of fan club please contact wl-supporters@sunshinepress.org.)" The fact that ownernship over the Facebook group is at issue gets particularly interesting in the Wikileaks case, where the global organization's lines leadership haven't always been clear. Wikileaks' Twitter presence, at least, expressed displeasure at the group's deletion, tweeting "Wikileaks facebook page deleted together with 30,000 fans... boiler place response includes '..promote illegal acts...'"

Getting information from Facebook today is made more difficult by the fact that today happens to be the day of the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco. And what's happening at that conference is also why the Wikileaks pulldown gives some extra pause. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's keynote focused on threading the Facebook platform past the site's own borders and throughout the rest of the web. CNET's Caroline McCarthy described it as a vision of next web "where Facebook is the center of it all." And being part of that future means, it seems, playing by Facebook's rules.

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