Facebook's half-puritan page policy is half assed

Last week producer Lisa Cooper and I got serious about crafting a social media strategy for the film we’re currently making, Beyond Naked. First stop: Facebook. With half a day’s work, we had the beginnings of a decent facebook page up and running. I created an eponymous page called Beyond Naked, and also created a facebook widget that I’ve embedded on this blog (see right sidebar). And this evening, we passed the 25th person liked our page, a milestone that Facebook requires passing to create a custom facebook url. So far so good.

So imagine my surprise when tonight, when I attempted to create our custom URL, http://www.facebook.com/beyondnaked, I got this error message:

Turns out any url with the word “naked” in it is simply “not available.” (I tried many combinations and always got same negative result). So it seems Facebook is half-assed censoring page names: they don’t care if you use the word “naked” in the page you create, they don’t even care if you create a widget with the word and embed it all over the net. But they DO care if you try to create a custom URL pointing to your page.

Beyond Naked is a serious film aimed at a mainstream audience. Just because we have the word “naked” in the title doesn’t mean we’re making porn, thank you very much. And while we’re grateful to be able to host a page named Beyond Naked on Facebook, we’re disappointed at the inconsistency of Facebook’s policy. And reminded of something Mark Twain once said: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Maybe not, but they’ve had a big influence on the Fremont Solstice Parade, which attracts more than 100,000 people every year. Just 88 days til the clothes come off!

8 thoughts on “Facebook's half-puritan page policy is half assed

  1. Megatron


    You should fight this. This is clearly a 1st amendment issue. I believe the same thing happened to a professional dominatrix, who was barred from using the term “Mistress”. She then converted the term to “Mihztress”. The point is, it doesn’t matter what they ban as far as words- it produces no result, and certainly not the result they want- i.e. keep porn off of Facebook. People will just invent other terminology. “Domina” can be used for instance, but apparently not “Mistress”. People that are seeking out a woman of that capacity will be familiar with both terms.

    I just find it very bizarre that a term used to describe how we enter this world, or a more cerebral sensation, or a way we can feel in our hearts, is censored. I really think you should fight this. Is there a way you could explain that “Beyond Naked” is a title, just like “Naked Lunch”, that it is not obscene, and they are being very unrealistic in censoring such a basic word?

    Good Luck!

  2. DAF

    I have had this exact same problem trying to name a new FB page for a client of mine with the word Naked in their name (they’re a beauty salon). Very frustrating.

    Hasn’t always been the case evidently as there are plenty of examples of FB pages with the word ‘naked’ as part of their new, shortened URL:

    It must be a new rule.

    Ah well, at least they are keeping us from potentially corrupting our minds.
    Or something.

    1. Dan McComb

      I’ve been told that if you contact the appropriate person on tech support at FB, they will consider your site, and possibly grant you the url. But here’s the rub: I can’t find a way to contact the right person. There are a blizzard of forms on the support section, all of them buried deep within FAQ pages, and none that I can find the right one.

  3. DAF

    Hey Dan!
    Guess what??!! I DID find the people to contact and FACEBOOK HAS CHANGED THE PAGE NAME TO WHAT I WANTED!!!

    I went here and filled out the form:

    I basically used the fields to explain the situation and copied the URL of the existing page. Email came back this morning from Marissa in User Operations (the email address displays as: ip+uofwpdu@support.facebook.com ) and the email said:

    Hi David,

    We have added your requested username to the Page you indicated. You can verify this change by logging in and viewing your web browser’s address bar. If you have any further questions, please visit the username section of our Help Center at the following address:


    Thanks for contacting Facebook,

    Dan, if you email me I will reply back with all the content I used in the form as it may help you too.

    I’m feeling very happy this morning.

    1. Dan McComb

      Hi David, thank you! This is the first solid lead I’ve received on the correct way to contact Facebook to resolve this issue. I’ve just filled out the form and submitted it, and will post an update as soon as I hear back from them. I really appreciate your taking the time to share this info with me.

  4. Dan McComb

    Here’s the message I got back this afternoon:

    Hi Dan,

    We are unable to make an exception at this time. Feel free to suggest an alternate username for the Page.

    Thanks for contacting Facebook,

    User Operations

  5. Kathleen


    Sometimes, one can’t reserve their FB page’s custom name because someone else has already claimed that name. Have you typed in your ideal URL and seen if it resolves to a page?


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