Has your Facebook Page been hijacked by an admin? - Austin social media consultant, live stream strategist, Periscope, Twitter, Facebook, social networking

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Has your Facebook Page been hijacked by an admin?

What to do if your Facebook page is hijacked by a page adminBecause all admins of Facebook pages have the same rights, it’s possible for any admin to remove any other admin. What this means is that the owner of a Facebook business page can set someone up as an admin, then that person can easily turn around and remove the page owner. This can be a huge problem when the page represents a business.

Recently I’ve had a number of people asking me about this very problem. Some of them have (had) active business pages but because a disgruntled employee or former web developer was able to hijack the page, they’re in a real bind. The hijackers refuse to give the page back, and the business owners are afraid of what the person in control of the page will do to their business. Face it, some people will go to great lengths to ruin someone if they’re angry enough. And being able to mess with a company’s Facebook business page, especially if it’s an active one, is a pretty sure-fire way to do just that.

There may be a way to get your hijacked Facebook business page back though. The Facebook Copyright Policy allows a user to report infringement of intellectual property, including copyrights and trademarks. This would include using your business name, trademark, copyrighted content,  and/or custom URL on a business page.

How to Report an Infringing Facebook Username

To do this, fill out the infringing username form. If the Facebook username matches your email address my best guess is that your complaint will have a bit more legitimacy, as well as if you are able to provide a trademark registration number. There is also room to state why the page is infringing on your rights, so be sure to include that. As with most things, the more concrete information you can provide, the better off you will be. (The form linked to originally in this blog post is no longer available. See this page for infringement info.)

How to Report an Infringing Trademark and/or Copyright

You can also report copyright or trademark infringement by completing the Facebook DMCA form. As with the infringing username, provide as much information as possible to prove your ownership of the material in question.

Keep in mind that Facebook has over 800 million users, so I wouldn’t expect an overnight response to your complaint. Since I haven’t had to go this route for myself, or any of my clients, I’m not sure how long it may take. With hosting companies it can take a few hours to a couple weeks. If any of you file a complaint with Facebook though, please let us know how it goes. My hope is that it’ll be a fairly quick turnaround.

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34 Responses to Has your Facebook Page been hijacked by an admin?

  1. Trevor September 17, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I’ve posted my claim about 2 years ago and go every day at the Church for praying ever since. I don’t think God has heard me yet.

  2. Duke December 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    I have deleted my personal account, not realizing it is so tied to the business page, is there a way to recover admin to a business page, the page is still live but has no admin. So strange!

    • Therese December 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

      Try logging in to your old profile with the email / password you used to login with before you deleted it. It may restore your admin privileges for the page.

  3. Colin January 4, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    I was hired as the Social Media Manager for a nonprofit, and I learned that their Facebook page was created by a former employee, and no one knows who. I tried contacting the administrator for the page and received no reply. What makes this situation different from the scenario above, is that I don’t know the username of the person I’d be reporting for infringement. Is there anything I can do to find out the username of a page’s current administrator?

    • Therese January 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      Unless the person made the page admin public, you won’t be able to find out. However, you shouldn’t need the person’s name. If you fill out one of the forms listed above, that should suffice.

  4. Matelli January 31, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    I’m part of an open-source project, we contacted the creator of the page we would like to use, but he lost admin access for this page. The page is adminless (I guess). Our project name/logo is not registered. Any idea on how we can take over this page?

    • Therese February 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      If he lost access, there’s no easy way to regain it. You can try contacting Facebook by filling out this form.

  5. CAFE NOUF February 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    I lost the admin rights for my Business Face Book Page, I am not able to get it back, the person who hijacked it has all the rights now, I can not do anything about it, Very Frustrating

  6. Jay January 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Our current Page manager has been hi-jacked our volunteer organization’s Page, and refuses to upgrade the Content Creator to Manager as requested by the execeutire committee. She has ignored all requests to add members of the new governance committee to the Page as Managers, and failed to respond to emails regarding the issue for months. The organization does not have email addresses with the org name to qualify for claiming the Page. iL our best option to declare the Page to be is “unauthorized”? The members of our governance committee have created a new Page with a variation of the old name that we would like to Merge. We would like to reach an amiable solution.

    • Therese January 13, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      That might be the best way to go about it. Do you have a website that matches the Facebook page? I’m guessing you don’t based on what you said but if so, reference that in your message when you contact FB.

      • Jay January 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

        Unfortunately, we have no website to match. We will be sure to do that plus provide a record of all attempts to have made to bring her into ocmpliance with the governance committee’s wishes, which are now a drective. Thank you for your advice. So we will use the ‘unauthorized page’ approach mmediately if she fails to appear at our meeting this week.

        • Therese January 18, 2014 at 10:30 am #

          Good luck! I hope you’re able to work things out.

  7. Jay January 24, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    We successfully at regaining control over our Page once the lone Manager realized the implications and actions which could be taken by Facebook. She claimed to have deleted the page. I was able to convince her turn the page back up and add 3 new Managers. The Executive Committee voted unanimously to remove her altogether. She has been removed with minimal repercussions. The page will now be merged with a new page and managed by a team of 5 Manager Admins who will operate with a written social media policy approved by the Executive Committee. Thank you very much for your help and this forum!

    • Therese January 24, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      Wonderful! I’m glad there was a happy ending.

    • C April 20, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      If you could please let me know how you were able to force the former employee to add you back on? The above forms lead to nowhere, and this former manager is trying to make us pay money in exchange for control of our page.

  8. Lorri August 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Long story short…Our hired Social Media Manager has changed our Admin role to Analyst because she was angry with us. It has been over three weeks. We have been in communication with Facebook with two issues…1. Our admin role was changed and 2. Our intellectual property is being violated. So far…no luck in resolving at all. Facebook Admin team tells us Facebook can’t resolve Admin issues and the folks that take care of Intellectual Property seems has replied to us, “….at your request, we will close your Intellectual Property claim and send you to the Admin team…”
    Should complaint about a free form of advertising, but…Facebook policy assures us they will protect our Intellectual Property…but so far….they haven’t. We have spoken with an attorney and what our Social Media Manager is doing….is definitely NOT legal.

    • Therese August 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      I get a knot in my stomach when I read stories like this. I wish I had a bright idea on how to resolve it, but it sounds like the attorney route may be the way to go. Has a your attorney written a letter to her yet? Hopefully that will be enough for her to change your status back to admin. Once she does, take her rights away pronto!

  9. Alex January 5, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    I work for a university that is trying to clean up its many Facebook pages. One particular page that needs to be done away with is connected to only one profile account. This particular account, however, has been locked from our access because Facebook flagged it as a profile account being used as a business page. Shame on us, though I’d still like to gain access just to delete the page (and delete the profile account altogether). Logging into the profile account with username and password redirects me to beginning the steps of a profile-to-page conversion, though I’ve read once you convert, it is nearly impossible to retrieve it as a profile. Therese, holy saint of Facebook questions, do you have any ideas on how to proceed?

    • Therese January 6, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

      You know, I’ve been called expert, maven, queen, etc. but never holy saint. I rather like that, although I don’t think the pope is going to canonize me any time soon 😉

      Anyway, on to your question…

      I haven’t come across this particular situation, so I don’t know the answer for sure. I have a few thoughts though. First, if you’re going to delete the profile and page both, why not go through the conversion then delete the resulting page?

      My other thing is to try contacting Facebook. It can take a while to get an answer (if they answer) but it is a possibility. Postplanner has a great post, listing a lot of different ways to contact Facebook. Take a look at ‘Account Disabled” under Access. I’d probably start with that form. https://www.postplanner.com/how-to-contact-facebook-to-get-support/ A while back, I had someone who was having a problem getting an answer from Facebook. He wrote them alluding to the fact that he might be interested in advertising. He got a very quick response. Not saying that’ll work, but just passing along some info 😉

      I’d love to hear what the outcome is.

      Bless you! (said in my most saintly voice)

  10. Adriana Quiroz February 22, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    I need to update my business page, created by a former employee, left I’m bad term and will not transfer the admin rights to me.

    Is there anything I can do?

    • Therese February 22, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

      If you can’t get the former employee to cooperate, the only thing you can really do is to contact Facebook.

  11. Dana September 1, 2016 at 5:19 am #

    Is there a Facebook Page Admin forum or support service for people who work as page admins? I’ve looked but I simply can not find anything like this. Thank you. CJ

  12. Antoine February 1, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    iAlso lost access to mpy page, from admin to analyst. Since that no one has posted anything on the page, i’ve been hijacked and been trying and trying for a year know, i’ve gone to almost all the forum on the “facebook help center” but no one has ever helped SADLY…
    Can anyone illuminate me in this situation?

  13. Bridget Graham June 12, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    This is a Terrible thing that is happening to so, so many people and sadly, I’m in the “Hijacked” club. Someone contacted me about advertising on my page and the next thing I know the page was hijacked and I was no longer the administrator. I have over 110,000 followers which took 4 years of hard work to get that many. Facebook is giving no help. It’s a simple fix,,,Make it so that the creators of a page Can’t be removed. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I just want my page back. Any suggestions? Thanks

  14. Amanda August 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    Not sure if anyone will read this but I’m hoping someone can answer my question, it’s not quite the same as the things that have been asked here.

    For several years I have been an admin on two pages that I help manage for work along with a couple of other admins. I am finding that I do not want my personal profile associated with work pages because of the messages that get sent to me from customers, so I created a ‘work profile’ on Facebook and added myself as an admin to my work pages.

    My question is, if I remove myself as an admin (the personal profile), will the posts that I have made as the page disappear? I hope my question is clear.. 🙂

    • Therese August 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

      Hi Amanda, your question is clear, and the posts will stay on the page. Just be sure the other admins you mentioned have full admin rights (as opposed to editor, contributor, etc.)

  15. Kate August 21, 2017 at 6:44 am #

    Hi Therese,
    I wonder if you are still active on this thread. It would be amazing if you could help me. I have run into wall after wall at Facebook, and am pulling out my hair in frustration at their horrendous customer service.
    A business page for which I was one of the admins suddenly disappeared at the end of last month. I have reason to believe that one of the other admins deleted it, since it co-incided exactly with his rather sudden leaving of the company. We have got a legal conversation going with him at the moment, and want to clarify exactly what happened to the page, so that we know whether to add it to the list of reasons to charge him. I am not having all that much luck with FB. Any idea how I might get a useful response from them?
    Thanks, in advance…

    • Therese August 21, 2017 at 10:34 am #

      Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do if Facebook won’t answer. If your attorney has some sort of paperwork you could submit with your request to Facebook, that may get their attention. I imagine they respond to as many people as they can, but with over a billion people using Facebook, unless you’re spending money on advertising I think you’re not as much of a priority.

      • Kate August 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

        Thanks, Therese. I just wish that there was an easier way to connect with the back-end of Facebook instead of these useless, faceless forms. I find it ironic how the pioneers and leaders in social media can be so ridiculously unavailable. And it’s not like we have any other choice, nor any recourse should they treat us unfairly. Did we create the monster, or did it happen to us? 🙂

        • Therese August 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

          It would be nice, huh? With 2 billion people on the app, I just get excited when I get a response of any kind! As for the monster, I think it was a group effort! LOL

  16. Maxime August 27, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    Hi Therese,

    In the past a person to work with me in my company. She created some pages that are linked to MY Business Manager so I am the only administrator. Now I no longer work with that person and I have removed it from the administrators. Does she have the right to claim these intellectual property rights on my pages? Note that currently I am the only admin of its pages.

    • Therese August 27, 2017 at 10:34 am #

      Hi Maxine, I don’t believe she’d have any claim to the page or info. Since you’re the only admin, she’d have to contact Facebook. Plus, if the page is in the same name as your website, and you have an email address associated with your website, you should be OK. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say for sure about claiming the intellectual rights. But since she did the work as an employee, I don’t think she’d have any claim to it.

  17. SR September 19, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    Hi, I hope this thread is active and I receive a reply

    I made my brand page and later added my social media team, Things turned sour with them and they removed me as an admin from my own brand page. Now I have written to Facebook about the same and have also submitted a trademark registration certificate. How long will facebook take to act? Also I want the username attached with the page, how do I get control on that too

    • Therese September 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

      Hi there, unfortunately there’s no way to tell when someone from Facebook might answer. I’ve received replies in as little as a few days. Other times I never have. Since you submitted the trademark certificate I would think you’d have a good chance of hearing back from them. I wish I could give you a timeframe, but I can’t.

      I’m not sure what you mean exactly about the username. Are you talking about the personal profile used to login? That would belong to the person who set the personal profile up.

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