Ben Totanes wrote on his blog (this is a snippet):
Ngayon, subukan ninyo i-click ito: http://www.facebook.com/noynoy.aquino
Wala… Wala na ang Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III Facebook Page na aking sinimulan. Ang Facebook Page na pinaglaanan namin ng panahon, pinag-puyatan, pinag-gastusan ko ng sarili kong pera at pera ng mga nag-donate, ang BSAIII Facebook Page ng taong bayan ay tinanggal na ng Facebook.
Ngayon, puntahan ninyo ito: http://www.facebook.com/presidentnoy
Iyan ang ngayong ”Official” Facebook Page ni P-Noy na sinimulan nila noong Agosto lamang. Ang namamahala nito ay ang Communications team ni P-Noy. Si Sec. Coloma ang pinuno nito at ang Usec niya na si George Syliangco ang in charge ng lahat ng media assets. Sa unang tingin, parang wala namang mali. Pero tignan ninyo ang mga members, 1.5 milyon. Noong November 5 (6 days ago) 100 thousand lamang ito. Nakakapag taka ‘di ba?
Matagal na ako sa Facebook at alam ko na hindi lang basta-basta kikilos ang Facebook upang isara ang isang Facebook Page. Kailangan ng opisyal na dokumento o request bago ito mangyari, at kailangan ito i-authenticate. Batay sa aking mga narinig galing sa ibang kaibigan na naging kasama namin sa kampanya at may alam sa nangyayari sa Malacanang, ang BSAIII ay ini-utos ipasara ng Communications team ni P-Noy, at karamihan ng member nito, ini request sa Facebook na ipa-lipat sa “Official” Facebook Page ng wala nilang pahintulot. Hindi possible na mag-gain ng 1.4 million members ang “Official” page ni PNoy in 6 days kung walang intervention ang Facebook. Ipina-lipat ito.
So, walang warning, walang communication. Pinatanggal na lang ang BSAIII at ninakaw ang karamihan sa 2.2 million na members nito.
Maraming miyembro ng Yellow Army Volunteers – ito ang mga mamamayan na kumilos sa kaslada, umattend sa mga rally, naki sigaw ng LABAN – na kumikilala na ang kanilang bahay sa Facebook ay ang BSAIII. Bago nawala ang BSAIII, marami na rin sa kanila ang naasiman sa nangyayari sa administrasyon at ngayon lalong nadismaya nang biglang nawala ang kanilang kinikilalang tahanan sa Facebook. Ayaw nila sa “Official” page, dahil kung gusto nila, matagal na silang lumipat. Ngayon, bigla na lamang nila nakita na naka-”like” na ang mga account nila doon ng walang pahintulot.
Secretary Coloma issued a statement regarding the President’s Facebook fan page. We published it here.
This is a snippet of Coloma’s statement:
On August 16, 2010, we opened the Official Website and Social Networking Sites of President Benigno S. Aquino III. We were aware of the Facebook Management policy that states: “Only the official representative of an organization, business, celebrity, or band may create a Facebook Page.” http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904
Facebook Management implemented this policy early this week. That’s almost three months after we opened President Aquino’s Official Facebook Fan Page.
There is another policy of Facebook Management which states clearly, “If you would like to create a Facebook presence for a celebrity or organization, and you are not officially authorized to do so, please create a Facebook group instead, as this may be created and maintained by any user.”
updated: included a snippet of Coloma’s statement.
GMA News has picked up the story,
History of the BSA3 fan page
Totanes said that he and Abrantes were contacted in October 2009 by Vicente Romano III, the head of Aquino’s New Media Bureau at the time, to ask if they could lend their support to the Aquino campaign.
According to Totanes, the BSA3 fan page was subsequently adopted as Aquino’s official campaign page, with some 80,000 Fans at the time. Following Aquino’s triumph at the polls, the number of fans steadily grew to 2.2 million as of November this year, Totanes said.
However, after the election, Romano allegedly recommended that the fan page be shut down. Instead, Totanes and Abrantes offered to turn over administration of the page to the then newly-formed Presidential Communications Group on the condition that comments critical of the administration would not be removed.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila na pwede pa rin nila gamitin ito, nguni’t dapat pamalagiin itong ‘Feedback Forum’ ng sambayanang Pilipino, at huwag tatanggalin ang mga comments —pro or anti— ng mga tao,” he said.
(I told them that they can still use the fan page, as long as it’s maintained as a venue for feedback from the Filipino people. No comments must be removed, be they negative or positive.)
Coloma allegedly disagreed with Totanes’ conditions, and decided to set up a new official fan page, PresidentNoy, in August this year.
“Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated,” Facebook administrators told Totanes.
Meanwhile, the number of fans of the PresidentNoy fan page jumped from around 100,000 on November 8 to almost 1.6 million just two days later, according to AllFacebook statistics.