Call him a throwback, but Doug Dowling is not interested in having a Facebook page for the two-year-old community band he helps lead called Dane County New Horizons Music.
The band’s director was interested, however, but later forgot he’d created one, and Dowling didn’t have much luck getting Facebook to remove it until a much older class of media, in the form of SOS, stepped in.
Dane County New Horizons is part of an international effort started in the early 1990s by a retired music professor to get former youth musicians playing again as adults and senior citizens. There are nearly 200 New Horizons bands in the United States.
Dowling said that in August he discovered there was a Facebook page for a “Dane County New Horizons Band” complete with his band’s logo and contact information for some of the band’s leaders, but also a photo for a band Dowling had never seen before and a purported link to the band’s website that ends in an “unable to locate” message.
“We have tried to contact Facebook,” Dowling wrote SOS in an Aug. 27 email about the page, “but the only mechanism we’ve found is to ‘report the page.’ I’ve tried calling a contact number that I found from an internet search but the number keeps referring back to using the Facebook page to report it.”
He did report it, a couple of times, he said, but never heard anything back from Facebook.
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SOS reached out to Facebook’s press office on Aug. 27 and got a reply that same day from Facebook’s Crystal Davis, who requested the addresses for the Facebook page in question and — apparently assuming one existed — the Facebook page authorized by the New Horizons band.
She also sent Dowling a link to a Facebook site where he could report a “violation or infringement of your rights.”
That he did, on Sept. 3, and on Sept. 4 got a response from Facebook’s “Armin” telling him that as his complaint “concerns an entire Page, group, or profile that contains many individual photos, posts and other pieces of content … it’s unclear to us that you own the copyright in all these various items, or that all these various items would be infringing your copyrighted works.”
Armin asked for more information — “just tons of stuff,” Dowling said — and on the evening of Sept. 9, Dowling gave them what he could.
By the next afternoon the page had been removed. It was only that same day, Dowling said, that he got an email from the band’s director “who said ‘Oh, I put the page up but totally forgot that I did.’”
Dowling is not interested in putting another Facebook page up, calling it “just something else that (we) had to continually monitor.”