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Spring Hope phasing out Facebook

Posted on June 23, 2022

Local news
Spring Hope will no longer use its Facebook page due to changes in the social media company's policies that require a personal account be linked to all pages.

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Spring Hope will no longer use its Facebook page due to changes in the social media company's policies that require a personal account be linked to all pages.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-366-0353

The town of Spring Hope will no longer use Facebook to communicate with residents.

“Due to the corporate policies of Meta (formerly Facebook) our town page is being discontinued,” said Town Manager Andrew DeIonno. “Unsurprising as Facebook is a proprietary media platform that has its own standards, policies and procedures. It was never intended to be an official communication system.”

DeIonno points to Facebook considering the town’s page to be a gray account.

“A gray account is an account used to log into Facebook that is not associated with a personal profile or account,” according to Facebook policies. “People used to be able to manage their pages with gray accounts before we required individuals to have a personal profile in order to create, manage or run ads on a page. Gray accounts don’t have access to the same security features as standard accounts. Because of this, we are disabling gray accounts and requiring gray account administrators to use their standard Facebook account for improved security and account safety on Facebook.”

DeIonno said the town will use its website to provide detailed information and the call multiplier autodailer system to send out time sensitive robo calls and texts.

“As always we encourage citizens to communicate directly with town staff through phone calls, in person or email,” DeIonno said.

Municipalities aren’t required to use social media, said Frayda Bluestein, a David M. Lawrence distinguished professor of public law and government at the University of North Carolina’s School of Government in Chapel Hill.

The town disabled comments in May 2021, but restored them in December after establishing a social media policy stating the town could delete comments that didn’t meet the purpose of the page to interact with residents, businesses and visitors concerning public issues related to the town’s jurisdiction.

The town didn’t violate anyone’s First Amendment rights by shutting off comments on its social media page, Bluestein said.

Facebook lost about half a million global daily users in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the quarterly earnings report of its parent company Meta.

It’s just a drop in the bucket of its 2.9 billion regular users, but it’s the first time since its debut in 2004 that the social media giant has experienced a decline in numbers.

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