Facebook allows you to create fan pages on almost any subject imaginable. You can create a fan page for yourself (I share some of my writing on my Facebook page), for expressions (Dear Microwave, why is my plate so hot, yet my food so cold?), and even religious figures (like Jesus Christ). Some people do a great job managing the Facebook fan pages that they manage. The Facebook page on The Bible, for example, posts Bible verses, sermons, and uplifting comments that would be of interest to most people that like the Bible. Some fan pages are quite misleading. The recently deleted Belfair, Washington fan page caused a stir. The Belfair fan page was a poor representation of the community.
The Real Belfair
The real Belfair, Washington is a small town in Washington state. Is it a perfect location? No, but what location is? According to Zipskinny.com, 14.5% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 59% of the population is married, 23% of the population works in management, and another 23% of the population works in sales or in an office. The median household income is $43,375. While it is a town with some alcoholics and drug users, there are plenty of people who live normal lives there.
The Belfair Fan Page
The Belfair Fan page was made on Facebook by someone named Dylan Medford. His posts in the name of “Belfair” were often rude and uncomplimentary. “Belfair” posted comments such as “even if you’re ‘offended’ by the word s***f***, the rest of us like it” and “Hempfest? Who went yesterday and who’s going today? S***, I’d go twice if I could.” Many of his comments revolved around drugs, alcohol, and sex. When people complained about his negative comments, he would insult them. One Facebook user described the page as “Discriminatory and obscene!”
The Belfair Facebook page started to attract attention of some Facebook users who started clamoring for its removal. As of September 2, it was removed from Facebook. Evidently, Dylan has also created a Facebook fan page for nearby Allyn, Washington. He claims to have deleted the Belfair page, but it is possible that someone used the “Report Page” link and Facebook removed it. Although the Allyn fan page currently has nothing derogatory on it, under info, he posted “Just like Belfair, Allyn isn’t actually a real town. True story.” We’ll see if this page gets out of hand as well.
While it is great that Facebook makes it so easy to start fan pages for yourself or for concepts that you advocate, this feature can be abused. Perhaps in the future, Facebook will want to take a look at its policy of who it allows to run fan pages based on communities where people live.
“Allyn, Washington”. Facebook.com.
“Belfair, Washington”. Facebook.com. Google cached copy, 3 September 2010.
Griffey, Dinah Lee Espadal. “Belfair Washington Page is Obscene…” Facebook.com, 31 August, 2010.