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New Haven battles with Facebook over city page

September 17, 2012 2:18:10 PM PDT
City Hall is fighting Facebook.

That's after the social networking site shut down the page for New Haven in Connecticut.

"Fighting Facebook is harder than fighting City Hall," New Haven Mayor John DeStefano said.

And it's an experience he is learning first hand.

Before, people could log on Facebook and click like on a City of New Haven page run by his office. But last week, Facebook shut down the page.

"So Facebook has put us on double secret probation, which is to say we're not the city of New Haven," DeStefano said. "And that's confusing for me, because when I voted for myself last time, I was voting for myself as mayor of the city of New Haven."

The social networking site says there are many organizations that make up a city and no one person - not even the mayor - can run a city of New Haven Facebook page.

"We have asked page administrators to designate their specific department," an official from Facebook said.

It's a cyber situation DeStefano doesn't like.

"Social media is becoming for us a more and more important way to communicate with residents, because so many people communicate differently," he said.

For now, the mayor's office is back on Facebook, but under a new name.

"We're going under New Haven City Hall, because otherwise we've been told permanently we would be banned from ever being on Facebook," DeStefano said.

So the fight to claim their Facebook name continues. And just to be clear, on Twitter, DeStefano is still Mayor DeStefano and New Haven is still New Haven.

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