According to various messages that circulate almost continually on Facebook, the network is now deleting pet profiles and animal rescue groups.
In fact, the same rumours have circulated for years and regularly regain momentum on the network. So, is Facebook currently on a mission to remove ALL pet profiles? That, so far, remains unclear.
That said, however, it is certainly true that Facebook can remove personal profiles set up for pets or other causes such as animal rescue groups. Facebook can and will disable accounts that do not comply with its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and this applies to pet profiles set up as personal accounts.
In the Registration and Account Security section of the Rights and Responsibilities statement, Facebook notes:
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
- You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
- You will not create more than one personal account.
Thus, creating a profile for your pet technically breaches these conditions of use and affords Facebook the right to remove such accounts as they see fit.
Facebook maintains that personal accounts set up for pets are misclassified and should have been set up as Facebook Pages. In a 2012 article, CNN noted:
Misclassified accounts are personal profiles that have been made for companies, groups or pets. Those types of profiles (22.9 million) are allowed on Facebook, but they need to be created as Pages. Facebook estimates that 2.4% of its active accounts are these non-human personal accounts. These accounts can be converted into approved pages without losing information.
In 2012, a similar message warned that Facebook was removing animal rescue groups. Again, Facebook may indeed remove animal rescue groups set up as personal profiles, but converting the profiles to Pages will solve the issue.
Thus, if you have a profile for your pet – or an animal rescue group – set up as a personal account, it would be wise to convert it to a Page. The same holds for profiles dedicated to other causes, organizations or businesses.