Thursday, August 23, 2007

Should Facebook Have Banished Ranger Rick?

Coworkers here at the National Wildlife Federation were up in arms earlier this week as word spread that Facebook had canceled Ranger Rick's account. Any attack on Ranger Rick is an attack on The Green Miles, because we're one and the same in Arlington's Neighborhood Day parade each year (to the right is RR/TGM with Arlington County Board Chair Paul Ferguson).

Granted, Ranger Rick is not an actual person, a nominal violation of Facebook's rules that require a profile represent a real person. Facebook says nonprofits can still use the group function.

However, you could easily counter that by saying Facebook allows pseudo-profiles of politicians all the time. Anyone think the actual Hillary Clinton is checking who tagged her wall today? And for nonprofits like the NWF, creating a group or mascot profile protects the privacy of the staffers who work to reach out to members through social networking sites. Does Hillary's Facebook staffer wants to have his/her personal info out there for 35,000 supporters to see?

But here's the bottom line -- of all the fake profiles on Facebook, why has Facebook targeted the beloved Ranger Rick? A quick search shows six fake Paris Hilton profiles. Why kill off Ranger Rick? Would it really have torn a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum to look the other way while Ranger Rick spread cuteness across the Internet?

If you think Ranger Rick was unjustly targeted, join the Set Ranger Rick Free Facebook group, and tell Facebook to knock it off by emailing them here.

Post a Comment