When 18 Karat Reggae, the top promoters of dancehall and reggae music on the internet, got their Facebook Page stolen, their first thought was that it got hacked by some computer geeks who were able to exploit security holes in Facebook’s Business Manager. They thought they would report the hacking to Facebook, their page with 2.3 million followers would be recovered and the nightmare would be over. To their surprise they got a response from Facebook that none of the admins on the page were hacked and therefor there was nothing Facebook could do or was willing to do about restoring the page. Just like that, all the time and money that they put into building their Facebook following was gone.
Since “18 Karat Reggae” is trademarked by the page’s creators and they also own the copyrights to a lot of the content on the page, they filed complaints of both copyright and trademark violations with Facebook. Facebook responded that the only thing they could do is delete the page forever. This put 18 Karat Reggae in a dilemma. Losing 2.3 million followers became secondary in importance to the fact that over the years so many reggae and dancehall artists had entrusted 18 Karat Reggae with the promotion of their music. 18 Karat Reggae decided to leave the page up since the contents were not being deleted by the thieves. A lot of the content is very popular including videos with millions of views that would hurt the respective artists if the page was deleted.
For an entire week, the 18 Karat Reggae crew monitored the page and noticed that the thieves were posting daily but nothing that had anything to do with Reggae; instead everything they posted were click baits to various websites. So 18 Karat Reggae decided to file yet another copyright complaint just so they could bring the change in posting behavior to Facebook’s attention. This is when it became 100% clear that Facebook employees are behind the stealing of popular pages on the Facebook.
In their intellectual property violation complaint to Facebook at around 7:45PM EST on June 3rd, 18 Karat Reggae mentioned the following:
“It is beyond me how Facebook can’t figure out that the behavior of the page changed since it got hacked and no longer has anything to do with reggae.”
At approximately 8PM EST on the same day, Facebook responded with the below.
Then just 3 hours after the Facebook responded, the hacked page that has not posted anything reggae related in an entire week, went on a reggae related post marathon.
In fact, since the complaint mentioned above, the page has posted nothing but reggae related material.
So it is quite obvious that someone notified the hackers of the 18 Karat Reggae page that it was reported to Facebook that the posting habit had change and nothing being posted was related to reggae. Only a Facebook insider would have knowledge of this report. So it is quite obvious that the stealing of popular Facebook pages is being done by Facebook employees. Most likely the employees are giving the necessary information for outside scammers to conduct the actual stealing, taking over and running of these pages. In fact, it is no different than the lotto scamming that was occurring in Jamaica a few years ago, where an employee of a call center would provide the necessary information to scammers for them to perform their scamming.
The sad thing is, people who spend a lot of money with Facebook are being taken advantage of and Facebook does not seem to care too much about that. While Mark Zuckerberg is in the media touting his big plans for more community building in Facebook, while those that made it possible for Facebook to be in the position it is are being neglected. Maybe before Facebook ventures off into new frontiers, they should do the needed investment to make sure their customers are protected in the current frontier.
Apart from greed, it is difficult to fathom why Facebook does not have a department that specializes in investigating the stealing of pages. If they did have such a department, their employees would be less emboldened to get involved in these rampant scamming of popular pages. Plus as wealthy as Facebook is, their employees should be paid enough so they are not tempted to make extra money by stealing customers’ info and passing it off to their scamming cronies.
Facebook might think that they don’t need to worry about thousands of small businesses getting screwed by having their pages stolen, after all, that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of businesses that advertise on the leading social media platform. Facebook is, however, running the risk of ending up like MySpace.
MySpace was the leading social media platform until they came up with MySpace Music and decided they would only work with the major music labels and leave the independent labels and artists out in the cold.
MySpace underestimated the power of the independent labels and musicians and that was the primary reason for their eventual downfall. Today, Facebook is doing the same thing to small businesses. With Microsoft , Google and now Verizon Oath (formed by the purchase and merging of AOL and Yahoo) trying to figure out ways to dethrone Facebook, it won’t be long until small businesses figure out that there are better choices to advertise their businesses. Facebook reign as the king of social media will soon come to a crashing end and they will have no one but themselves to blame. Like Biggie Smalls once told Nas, it might not be long before Verizon’s OATH is telling Facebook, “Your reign on the top was short like Leprechaun.”
It makes zero business sense for a company to spend money building their following on Facebook when employees of Facebook can easily steal their following on give it to whomever they please on a whim.