Facebook Can Delete Your Personal Account If You Do Any Business On It

Facebook Can Delete Your Personal Account If You Do Any Business On It

Many of us in the industry are using social media in some form or another. It's a great tool in promoting our work and we tend to explore as many options as possible. Facebook is one of those options. You may be using your personal page along with a business page to promote your work. What if Facebook suddenly deleted your personal page and you lost all your contacts, messages, and more? That is what recently happened to photographer Catherine Oshanek, otherwise known as White Cedar

Although we know that it's only advisable to use your business/public page to promote your work, many people also use personal pages to share some of their work, make contacts, network, and do business. After all, we can stay in touch with colleagues and clients by adding them as friends (if you so choose to). A personal page also allows us to message them directly, where a business page does not allow this option unless they reply to us directly. So in a way, a personal page is as important as a business/public page in maintaining relationships, finding new clients, getting your work out there, and keeping in touch. This is also why many colleagues in the industry still use personal pages when doing business in some way or another. Some prefer keeping them separate, and there's nothing wrong with that either. If you're someone who keeps business off of Facebook, then this obviously is nothing you should be concerned about.

If you're in the same boat, be prepared to have Facebook delete your account. I'm not saying that this will happen, but it is a possibility you have to be ready for. This is what happened with Catherine. Without warning, she lost her Facebook page along with her messages and all her media on the account. Most importantly, she lost her past messages and contacts. They converted her old personal page into a public page. So technically it wasn't deleted, just converted. I use the word deleted because she cannot get back all of her messages and contacts. With public pages, as mentioned, you cannot reach out to people and message them directly or communicate with them in the same way that a personal page allows you to do so.


You can see the full conversation by clicking on the image. It will lead to her page.

She originally had 5,000 friends and over 1,000 subscribers, which then turned into fans.

So what should you do to prepare yourself? You can download a history of your Facebook activity and archive it somewhere, just in case. It will also allow you to keep a history of your messages, which I believe may be the most important element.


You can do so with the following directions, from Facebook's info page:

1) Click at the top right of any Facebook page and select Account Settings

2) Click General in the left-hand column

3) Click on "Download a copy of your Facebook data"

4) Click Start My Archive


This article does not apply to everyone, but for those of you who do any business using your personal page, consider this a warning. At least you can be prepared in case it does happen.

Log in or register to post comments
Craig_Seymour's picture

Thanks for sharing this. I got really worried at first. But after doing some research, i saw that the main issue with this kind of account is that Catherine Oshanek was using the business name White Cedar for her personal account. From my reading on FB policy, there doesn't seem to be an issue about promoting your work on a personal account, but there is an issue with using a brand as the name of a personal account. Please let me know if my understanding of this case is correct. If so, then I think the headline that "Facebook Can Delete Your Personal Account If You Do Any Business On It" is a little misleading. The issue is really that you can't use the name of your brand or company as the name of your personal account.

Ihab Mokayed's picture

That actually makes sense!

Guest's picture

When you sign up for Facebook it makes it very clear when you register a business or sign up as a person. Which part of "First Name" "Last Name" did they not understand? It bugs me when businesses use "personal" profiles. It's more convenient because you can direct message and interact with more people without as many restrictions as a FB business page - you can friend request people - you can more easily tag yourself and do a lot of other things - but it's not a mystery that you're going against FB's rules.

Just sayin!

Travis - Minneapolis Wedding Photographer

Joseph Philbert's picture

This is what happened to me ... I had "photography" in my name and it flag me as doing business. but I sent email to facebook and they restored my account.
Hi Joseph,

We've reviewed your request and have upgraded your business account to a personal account. The next time you log in, you'll notice that your timeline has been restored.

For instructions on how to delete the Page that was created in the migration process, please visit the following link:


User Operations

Sherman D Snyder's picture

Hey Joe... hahahha too funny seeing you in hear too

Joseph Chenelle's picture

What email address did you use to contact facebook Joseph? All of the ones I have tried did not go thru

bjay YUPchannel's picture

I woke up and found out my FB business account has been disable with this msg:

Unfortunately, you won't be able to access your account while we're reviewing these additional documents. We appreciate your patience, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

"WT%? But I had been on here (FB) since the time Facebook has been Facebook I never had cause any problems"

My business name is run under my middle name Bjay and also under our Parodies videos on YouTube I couldn't change the name under our new name: https://www.youtube.com/user/AwesomeBlackDude on YouTube.

There are no options in their questionnaire boxes. When they ask us questions about who are you. There are no questions about what type of business is this name under. I gave them 2 Gov IDs, credit card and nothing has been censors on either identification cards . I do have rare photos that sit on my FB account and was planning to make copies of them next year January. My second backup Seagate Goflex USB harddrive had died on me. I was quickly planning purchase a new one's but unfortunately my Garmin GPS screen had been broken around that time before Facebook had disable my account. My Garmin pic link is below.

Now i'm am even been blocked from FB helpdesk so what the point of having a Facebook help desk if you can login to make a complaint ?!?

My god is Republican Donald Trump's running the Facebook policies now?!?


Update I just received a notification from Facebook in my gmail account they had closed my case I also gave Facebook staff additional information of on my medical statements and Facebook staff still requesting for more documents.

bjay YUPchannel's picture

Newer update somebody on Facebook must have took a second look and yes my case is back open I'm waiting for them to respond once again.

LawrenceOshanek's picture

We don’t have rules. We have values.
I think they have rules.


CookieMonster's picture

I applaud this move by facebook, because I'm sick and tired of seeing people pushing their pyramid schemes via facebook, be it scentsy, mary kay, and what not.

One has to wonder why is this woman surprised that it happened? I ask this because she clearly maxed out the amount of friends that a personal account can have (5,000) and it's obvious that she was using facebook exclusively to conduct business from a personal account, as she has no website listed, her fan page was just created today, and as evidenced by her stating:
"I lost every single message in my inbox..nooo clue how to contact my clients now."

Even though I'm not a pro, I am astounded that she's at a loss as far as how to contact clients.

Pete Jones's picture

inform yourself

CookieMonster's picture

About what? About how she didn't bother to read Facebook's terms of service? About how she didn't know how to use email to contact her clients? Or about how your comments add nothing to the discussion? If you actually want to contribute to the discussion and plead your friend's case, then make your case instead of posting lame retorts of "inform yourself".

Pete Jones's picture

lol - that's what I thought - you're just being self-righteous - must be nice on top of being so opinionated

Tony Hord's picture

Self righteous? Didn't sound that way to me. I think this is a good wake up call for those who are trying to use a free social media service to conduct all of their business. I have a business page and it's just to show some of my work. It's fun to have people comment on it. But ultimately I have a website with my contact info. That's where I do my business. Facebook is always changing and because it's free we don't really have a say in the matter. So it makes sense not to put all your eggs in this baskett.

EmsD's picture

I agree Tony I'm not sure of anyone who uses facebook to conduct business usually a personal site outside of any social media seems what the majority do (Atm I'm but a student hobbyists- but I have yet to see any professionals I follow do it 100% through fb)

woofa's picture

You've yet to make a point about anything.

Steve's picture

I still wonder what clients would hire a photographer, who besites not having a website runs his entire communication via facebook and more importantly goes by the name of 'white cedar'? Everytime I see a photographer using some fancy name I autmatically assume they are bloody amateurs and when checking on their images this assumption gets confirmed 95% of the time.

Pete Jones's picture

She's been around for a long time, has a long-term & very upstanding reputation - she's far from an amateur my friend!

Andrea's picture

Does that work look like an amateurs work? I guess she falls into the "5%" that are good
There are a lot of people with unique names, instead of your everyday Johnson, Smith etc ... I see nothing wrong with the name?... And how that's associated with being a poor photographer I don't get

EmsD's picture

Just because it doesn't look amateurish means nothing there are some fab amateurs/hobbyists out there that I know of that produce images on par with cedar's. I think what makes steve and others question her professionalism is the lack of big featurettes anyone can feature in issuu magazines as they are free and usually run by hobbyist journalists. though that could be because she hasn't set her page up properly yet?

Steve's picture

To me frankly, that's quite simple.
Let's assume for a minute you work for an add agency, working on a new campgain for a large international client. Would you, as a senior creative director rather recommend to your client, in person on the huge presentation someone who goes by a real name or some one with fancy unique name? I'n my opinion I wouldn‘t let a person called 'white cedar' run a 100.000 Dollar Production. This just looks unprofessional, wether or not her image quality is good or bad.

EmsD's picture

What I find interesting about Cedar looking at her facebook is that she has no clue what photoshop she uses and apparently hasn't featured in another big just some article in issuu...rings alarm bells to me. Is it time to do some digging I wonder ;)

Rob Barnes's picture

Sensationalism, much? OMG, Facebook, a free service converted a regular account to public page! The horror!! I mean, how come I can't use it conduct all my business for free, and go around their rules?! How this article made it on here, ill never know.

EmsD's picture

Frankly I have no sympathy in fact I think facebook in this instance were very flexible in not just de-activating her account as she broke facebook's tos at least once (the name being point number 1- I mean unless her documentation lists her as White Cedar which I sincerely doubt). Secondly I can say from having my own like page that you can chat with clientèle via private message as I do this regularly on my page (not the clearest option but pm's are an option on like pages). As for not being able to contact her clients, well if they were truly important clientèle why didn't she have other methods of contact like ye olde phone calling? Just seems super unprofessional way to go about things. I think it's just adds proof by the troll trolling on here who claims to be a friend and yet seems to feel it's fine to have a go at anyone with a differing opinion to what he feels everyone should think.

Ihab Mokayed's picture

Ohh, thank you Pratik for sharing this information, I'm definitely downloading my Facebook data! Even though I'm just really promoting my work,

But the last time I wanted to change my Fb fan page's name, they asked me for some paper work as if it was a business! Which kinda started worrying me, because I specifically put it in the "people" category! Meh, being safe doesn't hurt anyway!

EmsD's picture

You shouldn't really have an issue if it's a fan page :) weird that they'd ask for it though I have myself as artist and haven't had an issue tweaking the name yet (though haven't tried as of late) anyway it's always good to have a back up somewhere ^^ I use iftt or whatever it's called so whenever I post on my like page it goes on my photography tumblr page also so I never really lose the content in that respect ^^"

Ihab Mokayed's picture

Yea that's the thing, it kinda surprised me when they sent an email asking for that, like if you see the two pictures that I attached, it first shows that I need to "request" a change, and now after I already tried it once, that page shows when I click on it!

It's weird, but I guess at least the page is also with my personal name, so I suppose that's a good thing, haha!

And that's nice what you do, but it's still hard if someone lost their huge base of fans on fb though :/ , just to even imagine that, woah!

Adrian Staicu's picture

There are a lot of businesses, that use personal account. The annoying part is that Facebook will suggest them as "friends", because one or more of your actual friends have them as friends. And you are limited to 5000 contacts and can't add new contacts at that point. So you are choking your own business. It's not that complicated to make a business page and place it into a decent category. Just make a gmail account and keep your contacts on your personal email.

Anonymous's picture

I have had this happen before. I had a personal account and a fan page. My personal account got deleted (I'm still, to this day, unsure why)

So, losing my personal account was a HUGE blow! This really killed me. But to make matters much, much worse, My photography fan page (with 1,200 fans) only had one admin. My personal account. So what did Facebook do when they deleted my personal account? They assigned admin access of my fan page to some random person. And that person kept the fan page, ignored my 20+ requests to give it back, changed the name, deleted all of my content and added their own (A local modeling agency to boot)

I was blown. I tried like hell to get both my personal account and fan page back to me, but all of the channels I tried to Facebook came up empty.

My personal tip. Make a close friend, spouse, etc an admin on your fan page. Or even (tho it's against the rules) make a fake account and make that person admin as well if you can't trust anyone.

I still say that Facebook would make a TON of money by making a "pro" account. Not limiting the numbers of friends/friend requests and maybe a few more benefits. This is something I would pay for.

Donald Koller's picture

FB will delete you if you add friends. This I know for a fact.

Harnav Bir Singh's picture

This has already happened to me once!
I once shot for a famous Punjabi celebrity and there was some disagreement between us following the shoot. So they not only got the photos deleted from my account but got my profile deleted as well! I was stunned!

I wrote email to Facebook citing my copyrights over the images and some other stuff, then only my account was restored. I was asked to submit legal identity proofs for which I had to submit my driver's licence and passport-size picture.

Here is a shootout to all the Photographers ..Professionals and budding!
PLEASE DO NOT rely on facebook alone. I have seen many photographers just having Facebook pages and nothing else at all. All your PR/Connections could just vanish in one day. And trust me it could be very pain-staking in gathering your audience back. So do have a website and blog! Strongly recommended. Have social integration on your website but do not rely on Facebook alone.

woofa's picture

She says she wasn't notified via email by Facebook so I'd say it's far more likely she was hacked. Same for Mark Dub. If you've got a page with thousands of followers you are a hot target. They can hack in, change the admin on your page and then use it for their own purpose. In fact often selling it.

Anonymous's picture

Facebook sent me an email stating so. My fan page was lost cause I had no other admins on there.

Tim Martin's picture

It is always good to use the business page to advertise the business and not the private page. I use my business page only to give new updates about my business. Thanks for sharing this post.

Sarah Jocson's picture

You give yourself more time to research, ideas and get feedback.

Patty's picture

So I have a question, if I have a personal wall and a business wall, can I share sale flyers on the personal wall from the business wall? Can I share events that I am hosting? I am a consultant for a direct selling company and do not want to be deleted but only created my business page a few weeks ago

Geekisnewchic's picture

Might sound a bit 'way out there' but Facebook user t&c's are clearly available for all to see. You choose to break them, you can't really complain when they close your account.

Sherman D Snyder's picture

Just happened to me this morning... they gave me the option of changing it to my real name and the change is permanent... any further changes must be sent in to facebook staff directly on name. But mine was done as part of a hater tool... my account was reported as SPAM... I don't spam at all

Kalyan Chakravarthy's picture

this is what happend to me now.. i converted my personal page to business page but after i lost contacts of my friends..and then i closed my business page but i couldnt get back my friends and contacts and followers..what the fucking app created by facebook..the information isn't stored in my gmail too..getting irritated of this i stopped to create the new account...

Sandra's picture

A few weeks ago I used godelete.com to delete all my profiles. thanks anyway

Mitch's picture

And this is exactly what's wrong with Facebook. People signed up for it to connect with friends and family, and it is NOT a great way to promote your business. People hate that just as much as pyramid marketing schemes. Too much of this crap will drive people off in droves, and Facebook is trying to keep people on their website. Wake up. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the general public is too stupid to know that you're just using Facebook for cheap advertising.

bjay YUPchannel's picture

read my msg above on first post