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Warnings Claim Facebook Is Deleting Pet Profiles

by Brett M. Christensen

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:

  1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
  2. 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.

The good news is that you can convert your pet’s precious profile into a Facebook Page quite easily, thereby aligning with Facebook’s terms of use and alleviating the risk that the profile will be removed. 
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.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer