How to Recover Your Facebook Business Page from Rogue or Clueless Employees

Recover your stolen Facebook PageYou’ve spent years building up an active following on your business’ Facebook Page. Then, one day, your trusted Page Admin goes haywire – storms off the job, runs away with the circus, won’t return your calls, etc.  Do you have to start from scratch? Can you reclaim your Facebook Page?

We’ve heard the horror stories, and they are usually variations on these themes involving employees or agencies who have permission to manage your Facebook page suddenly becoming incommunicado.  Sometimes it’s innocent.  Sometimes it’s malicious.

  • They delete you and all the other admins leaving themselves in full control. Then sometimes they,
  • Change your page name.
  • Change the username.
  • Trash your online reputation for sport.
  • Find a new job and simply don’t return your phone calls when you’ve realized that you don’t know how to get in.
  • And sometime, someone created a Place page for your business and it’s taken on a life of it’s own.  This is a slightly different issue, but see this post on  how to claim your Facebook Place Page.

Claiming Lost or Stolen Facebook Pages

If asking, begging, threatening get you nowhere, don’t despair. Visit your page, and:

  1. Click on the gear icon (1).  
  2. Click on report page (2).
  3. Click on “Is this your intellectual property?” (3).
  4. Now, fill out the Reporting a Violation or Infringement of Your Rights form on Facebook.  Keep it factual, brief and not emotional.
  5. It may take a few days or a week to hear back.
  6. Encourage your friends to follow steps 1-3 to report the issue.  This may help get Facebook’s attention.

How to Prevent Facebook Page Loss or Theft

Facebook Page Security - Admin OptionsA signed agreement stating their obligation to be responsible in their management of the page and not remove you ad Admin may give you some legal recourse, but it’s not foolproof.  Here’s what is.

You , as the business owner, are the only one who needs to have “Manager” level permissions on your Facebook Page.  You may wish to grant the same access to someone you can trust completely – like your mother, as a backup. Other than you two, every other person with permission on your Facebook page should be at “Content Creator” and lower.  Here’s how to make the changes:

  1. Visit your Facebook Page.
  2. Click on “Edit Page”.
  3. Click on  ”Admin Roles”.
  4. Next to the administrator, there is a blue triangle.  Click that and select another role for them.

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About the Author Alisa Meredith (224 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


Comments

  1. Excellent article, Alisa! Unfortunately, there are those who would tread on other’s intellectual property. Thank you for clearly outlining the steps tp take to regaiin access of a page.

    • Alisa Meredith

      You’re very welcome, Robin. It really is up to the business owner to make sure they keep control of their online presence and I hope they will take my word for it – no one needs to have “Manager” status but them. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Shannon Baker

    This is a great article Alisa! This is how I instruct my client’s to set up permissions on their page if it’s existing. If I set the pages up, I use these settings as well. Unfortunately some business owners trust a little too much and then you end up with a situation like what’s described in your article. It’s also great to know how to reclaim a hijacked page!

    • Alisa Meredith

      Thanks, Shannon! It’s true, business owners need to become just a little more involved, whether they like it or not.

  3. Great how-to! Most business owners have no idea there are different levels of Admins for their page. I even had a conversation with one this morning that had no idea he could add other people to manage his page. Thank you for providing this information!

    • Alisa Meredith

      You’re very welcome, Sarah. Glad you liked it! There is so much education to be done, isn’t there? Gone are the days of creating a website and saying, “So long!”

  4. Super post! This is definitely one of those pages that people need to bookmark, because sooner or later you’ll need to use it! Especially when you have a handful of clients … it’s just bound to pop up. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alisa Meredith

      Thanks, Brooke! Yes, unfortunately, this was one of our “special request” posts.

  5. Really helpful stuff here, thanks! It’s a keeper for sure. I’ll be sharing this with my audience, it could save someone a whole lot of hurt!

    • Alisa Meredith

      Oh, I hope so, Kerry! Mostly I hope business owners will keep tighter control on admin permissions to avoid the issue in the first place!

  6. bert hall

    Unfortunately, I ran into the exact situation you mentioned above, our ex-SEO admin employee changed the all the login information as well as the security questions and then deleted the email account associated with the facebook acct. Facebook wrote back that this was not an intellectual property issue, and simply pointed me to the FAQS. All we want to do is delete the page and start over. Any other ideas?

    Thanx

  7. Alisa Meredith

    Hi, Bert. Oh, that’s frustrating! I would try it again and get other employees to report it. Squeaky wheel, and all :)

  8. bert

    Unfortunately we’ve tried, since they do not define this as theft or a rights violation, they won’t support any other action. All we want is to delete the page, however there has not been any violation that they will support. It falls into admin right faq, which is useless under my circumstances. Thanx for the support

    • Alisa Meredith

      Mmmm, I wouldn’t give up just yet. You could have others at your company report is as an intellectual property issue. Also, since you have created a new page, you and your friends could all report it as duplicate. That option is on the same “report” menu. If several of you do it, you may get their attention.

  9. What about an employee who full on DELETED the Facebook page of the business that she worked at when she left (under really bad and ugly circumstances)? How can you get the Facebook page back – one that belongs to your business – if it’s only linked to this person’s personal account? Is there any way?

  10. Alisa Meredith

    Oh no, Julia! I’m so sorry that happened. IF it has been less than fourteen days any admin can restore it. Since you mentioned that she is the only admin, that doesn’t look like a good possibility. http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/08/18/page-deletion-restoration/

    Here’s one idea, but I’m not sure how you not being admin would impact the restoration process. http://www.ehow.com/how_6178311_deleted-facebook-pages.html

    You could also try contacting Facebook directly at https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/164405897002583. Explain the situation and mention that you are able to confirm that it IS your intellectual property.

    I hope one of those helps!

  11. Dan Lyons

    Our Facebook page was taken over by a rogue officer of our corporation. This individual removed the other two shareholders as admins, changed the home image to a new company and then used the one and only name change to switch the page to a new name. I’ve sent 10 emails and numerous complaints to Facebook of intellectual property violations and pointed out that this conduct is a clear violation of Facebooks own appropriate use policies and I keep getting the same reply. This appears to be a trademark issue, please fill in our form. So I fill in the form and get back, “This appears to be a trademark issue” please fill in the form. Facebooks process for dealing with this type of issue is clearly BROKEN and dis-functional.

    Frustrated beyond belief!!

    • Alisa Meredith

      Hi, Dan. I can just imagine how infuriating this is! It clearly is an intellectual property violation. Are there others in your company who could also fill in the form? Sometimes things like that work to get things working when they have a bug, which is what it sounds like is happening here.

  12. matt

    is the option still available for theft of pages? I am not able to find it. I can get to the forms but there is nothing to fill out, just options you can click, and when you click on these the submit button does not light up at all.

    If you could I would greatly appreciate a link.

  13. Alisa Meredith

    Hi, Matt, yes, the links are still working for me (with a functioning send button) at https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/351297704961969 .

  14. When i select page and group admin issue the send button is inactive
    how can i report facebook then

    please help

  15. Alisa Meredith

    Hi, Fazal. I cannot tell from your comment if you followed the instructions to:
    Click on the gear icon (1).
    Click on report page (2).
    Click on “Is this your intellectual property?” (3).
    Now, fill out the Reporting a Violation or Infringement of Your Rights form on Facebook. Keep it factual, brief and not emotional.
    It may take a few days or a week to hear back.
    Encourage your friends to follow steps 1-3 to report the issue. This may help get Facebook’s attention.

  16. Lauren Hise

    Same thing happened to me as many others…..mad ex-emplyoee deleted me as an admin and subsequently deleted the business fb page that I had spent thousands of dollars and 3 years building. I tried EVERYTHING you mentioned here plus more and nothing helped. I tried every option suggested on the Facebooks help page, and every idea mentioned on every relevant forum I found on the internet. I sent over 10 emails to Facebook to every email that’s published for them, and in return I receive 2 generic emails sending me to generic help pages that were no help at all. Even though I have paid FACEBOOK hundreds of dollars in advertising and but countless hours, days, and years into building a following, they would not hep me AT ALL. I sent them all the proof they could ever want, copies of my business license, proof that I paid for all the advertising for the page, etc. and they completely ignored me. I HATE FACEBOOK. Here’s one tip I learned from all this: Don’t ever give FB a penny of your money because they can delete your page at any time for any reason and they have ZERO customer service even if you are a paying customer. There is NO PHONE NUMBER and they won’t even give you the courtesy of an email that answers your questions or offers and sort of assistance. Facebook is on it’s way out of style. I can’t wait to see them go down.

    • Alisa Meredith

      Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. I can only imagine how frustrated you must be. Many business owners with less reason than you are getting frustrated with the lack of exposure they are getting from Facebook and are branching out to platforms that make more sense for their businesses.

      I hope that stories like yours will make business owners check the administrator permissions and remember not to put all their eggs in someone else’s basket!

  17. Calumet Inn

    We accidentally deleted our Facebook Business Page a few days ago, with the warning: “This will permanently delete your page, and you will not be able to get it back.” We clicked “yes” on accident. Is there any tech support out there that could help us restore our page? Thank you in advance!

  18. Alisa Meredith

    Oh boy. Well, there was a way to restore pages, and it might still work, but I have not had occasion to try it. Check this out: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/08/18/page-deletion-restoration/

  19. Henry Slofstra

    Alisa, In your answers to some of the replies, you seem to ignore or gloss the fact that the business owner is not automatically the owner of the intellectual property that constitutes their Facebook page.
    The author of the page may well be using creative content that properly belongs to them, or to others, and not to the person paying for the site.
    Of course, this should all be clarified ahead of paying someone to do a website or Facebook page, but often people just assume, and assume erroneously.

  20. Alisa Meredith

    Whether or not infringement has occurred is up to Facebook to decide. The Facebook page itself will almost always be considered the property of the business owner. If individuals want to dispute content shared there, that is a different matter. Sharing someone else’s content on your Facebook page does not give them any rights of ownership over your page.

  21. Susan Keeling

    I recently was made admin for a business page and have discovered there is
    another page that the business created. They have same name, address. Posts on other page are over 2 years old but people still liking page and rating business. In fact, that page had a lot more likes than page I was invited as admin and many customers are saying they can only get to this second page.

    The business does not know who was admin for second page. I sent msg on the page, hoping someone would respond. The message came back to me as FB manager!

    I would like to merge the two pages but I can’t get access to the admin panel on 2nd page and when I try merging through FB form, it only recognizes me for page I’ve been able to access.

    I have spent HOURS searching for solution but haven’t seen anything about this quirky problem in any forums. This doesn’t seem like an intellectual property issue. If for some reason the second page stays, is there any way to push likes to page that can be managed and eventually the second page will get less notice?

    By the way, whoever set up the second page, disabled the ability for anyone other than themselves to post comments, so that option is out for me, too. Essentially, this is an unmanaged ghost page floating through FB that people can like, recommend and we can’t access.

    Hope you can help! I’m going nuts over this!

  22. Alisa Meredith

    Hmmm, yes, I can see why this is driving you to distraction!

    It does sound like you are a manager on that second page. Do you get multiple email addresses’ mail in one box (like on gmail, I consolidated four addresses)? I’m just wondering if you have an old personal profile on another email address that you forgot about.

    Go to the old page you can’t access and look at “About”. You may be able to see the administrators (scroll down the page). If you want me to look, just let us know the URL.

    If that doesn’t get you anywhere, I would use the intellectual property issue claim.

    Hope that helps.

  23. Amanda

    Hi Alisa,
    Very insightful post. I am facing a similar situation (upset employee left and took our client’s Facebook page hostage); however, I was removed as an admin and then the Facebook page was deleted or deactivated (I cannot which since my admin status was removed.) What can I do in this situation, since I cannot see the Facebook page to report it?

    Thanks!

  24. Alisa Meredith

    Thanks for stopping by Amanda. Glad you liked it :).

    Well, that’s about the worst case scenario. All I can think of is to use this form here: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/164405897002583 . This assumes you have record of the Facebook page URL as it used to exist.

    I so hate to hear these stories. Hope Facebook responds to you. If I think of something else, I’ll update…

  25. Christine

    Took all those steps and even managed phone contact w. FB. Two months later and STILL have not gotten my hijacked page back. Oh and we told FB the hacker’s identity and he is STILL at large hijacking pages!!! He gets away with it because at a million likes they make a TON of ad money off him. His MO is to merge pages he has stolen. So forget FB taking any action!

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