Facebook Inc. (FB) Unlikes New Haven, Conn., Page Name

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been about communication and information to many people – whether they be friends, neighbors, fellow members of a book club, a parent-teacher organization or residents of a city. But apparently, though a city has a chartered name that is legal, that isn’t good enough for Facebook, which has its rules. And rules are rules.

Facebook Inc. (FB)

One of the silliest naming “controversies” one might find on Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) comes from the City of New Haven, Connecticut (that is the legal, chartered name of the city), which is apparently running astray of Facebook’s naming rules. The city first established a Facebook page title New Haven, CT, which was designed to be a clearinghouse on social media for any news and information coming from any city department that should be made available to residents who visit the social-networking site.  Facebook said that violated the site’s naming rules because “Pages with generic location names like ‘New York,’ ‘Ontario,’ and ‘Switzerland’ are not allowed to have administrators. We require pages to be managed by official representatives of the topic they’re about, and no one person can singly represent a geographic location.”

After that response from a Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) rep, the city decided to go by its legal name, City of New Haven, but that apparently didn’t meet standards either.  Facebook communications manager Andrew Noyes responded to the city with, “We want to make it easy for people to connect with different parts of their local city governments. Since there are many organizations that make up a city, we have asked page administrators to designate their specific department (e.g. travel/ tourism bureau, mayor’s office).”

While city officials have wanted to have one page as a clearinghouse (though some individual departments did have their own pages, such as tourism or parks and recreation), the city then decided to change its citywide page to “New Haven City Hall” as a temporary placeholder until the issue could be resolved. But Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) informed the city that the latest name change was now permanent. And the company went on to say it was working with cities to encourage them to change their names to address specific departments or their citywide pages would be shut down – and this list would include major municipalities like New York, Boston and Chicago, among others.

Is this a rule just to generate more pages and thus a belief in a growing number of users, or is this rule legitimate and reasonable? We’d like your thoughts on this and maybe investors in Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) stock like hedge-fund manager George Soros of Soros Fund Management may share a thought or two. Or maybe not.

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