A Facebook Page, run by Jonathan Rivera was recently shut down by Facebook due to a complaint of the use of the vanity URL and the use of the trademarked term REALTOR®. He had been made aware of the violation after selecting his vanity URL, but as Facebook’s guidelines state: “You will not be able to edit or transfer this username once you set it.” The irony of this story is that when Jonathan was made aware of the violation he tried to reach out & contact Facebook to correct it, but was unable to do so. He tried desperately to be in compliance with NAR rules & regulations. Instead of Facebook allowing him to fix the username, they instead shut down the Real Estate Referral Page completely leaving a network of over 47,000 fans without a home.
This network was not only another fun page on Facebook, but also as he stated in the interview I recently heard, a good source of referrals having delivered over 1,400 referrals around the country to agents for free.
This is just once again another reason why it is important to know what laws & trademarks exist before picking a username, a web address or anything. It will be interesting to see what happens with this as things move forward. Jonathan has been working diligently to get the page reinstated, and from his interview with Techsavvy Agent, NAR was being agreeable in him keeping the page as long as the username gets changed.
Only time will tell what happens with this. One thing I surely learned from this is that I will definitely think twice before selecting the next vanity URL for a Facebook Page.