Has your Facebook Page been hijacked by an admin?

by | facebook, Social Media How To

What to do if your Facebook page is hijacked by a page adminBecause all admins of Facebook pages have the same rights, it’s possible for any admin to remove any other admin. What this means is that the owner of a Facebook business page can set someone up as an admin, then that person can easily turn around and remove the page owner. This can be a huge problem when the page represents a business.

Recently I’ve had a number of people asking me about this very problem. Some of them have (had) active business pages but because a disgruntled employee or former web developer was able to hijack the page, they’re in a real bind. The hijackers refuse to give the page back, and the business owners are afraid of what the person in control of the page will do to their business. Face it, some people will go to great lengths to ruin someone if they’re angry enough. And being able to mess with a company’s Facebook business page, especially if it’s an active one, is a pretty sure-fire way to do just that.

There may be a way to get your hijacked Facebook business page back though. The Facebook Copyright Policy allows a user to report infringement of intellectual property, including copyrights and trademarks. This would include using your business name, trademark, copyrighted content,  and/or custom URL on a business page.

How to Report an Infringing Facebook Username

To do this, fill out the infringing username form. If the Facebook username matches your email address my best guess is that your complaint will have a bit more legitimacy, as well as if you are able to provide a trademark registration number. There is also room to state why the page is infringing on your rights, so be sure to include that. As with most things, the more concrete information you can provide, the better off you will be. (The form linked to originally in this blog post is no longer available. See this page for infringement info.)

How to Report an Infringing Trademark and/or Copyright

You can also report copyright or trademark infringement by completing the Facebook DMCA form. As with the infringing username, provide as much information as possible to prove your ownership of the material in question.

Keep in mind that Facebook has over 800 million users, so I wouldn’t expect an overnight response to your complaint. Since I haven’t had to go this route for myself, or any of my clients, I’m not sure how long it may take. With hosting companies it can take a few hours to a couple weeks. If any of you file a complaint with Facebook though, please let us know how it goes. My hope is that it’ll be a fairly quick turnaround.

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66 Comments

  1. Claudia

    Looking for some guidance – have a disgruntled employee who will not release our business Facebook and Instagram account and has changed email/pw so we can’t recover. Who should we contact at Facebook?

    Reply
  2. Sandra L Siebert

    I had my facebook account hacked. They changed the email address and password so I no longer can get in. My business page is attached to my personal facebook account so I also cannot access that. Is there something I can do?

    Reply
  3. Sharon dubosh

    I got most stuff back on my hijacked Facebook page but I can’t get rid of the Spanish!

    Reply
  4. Indra

    Please help me m>my I’d phone number knot working my Facebook please on facebook

    Reply
  5. jessica

    so we work for a rescue and had a new manager come in and transferred ownership to him. he no longer works here but refuses to give us ownership of the page because he wants to take all the following to a new charity. what can we do ! or to his wife’s new business, is there some way we can actually contact Facebook directly?

    Reply
    • Therese

      Oh boy, that sounds like a mess! If the page is clearly part of a rescue that has a website, and if you have email addresses based on that website, you might try contacting Facebook and give them all that info. I don’t know for sure, but it might be enough to prove to FB that you are the rightful owner of the group. If that doesn’t work, you might want to check with an attorney who works in digital law.

      Reply
  6. Enton

    Hi, I have a strange case. I was victim of a scam and my page was stolen via facebook business manager. I lost the rights to manage the page, but after reporting it to facebook, the fb team restored my rights as an admin. I am the only admin right now, put the page is owned by the scammer. I can’t add my page to my business account. What rights has the owner now that I am the only admin? I think he only sees the page in his facebook business account unable to manage it, on the other side I can’t add my page to my business account. I have to be approved by the scammer. What can I do to solve this case?

    Reply
    • Therese

      I’d contact Facebook again. Since they worked with you before, hopefully they’ll answer you regarding this.

      Reply
    • Darla

      Did you ever resolve this? I am going through the same thing. I still have admin access but NO ownership of my page.

      Reply
  7. Charity Barrett

    Hello. Yesterday, my Facebook page got hijacked. I received a message to my inbox on the page with someone asking me if I was willing to help them with ads on their page and to advertise their website on my page. They told me they would walk me through the steps of inviting me to manage their page. After sending me a link, I clicked on it, and the person walked me through the steps. Once I did as they asked, it appeared that I had access to their page. They suddenly stopped responding to my questions when I asked what to do next. So I checked out the profile of the person who had messaged me and the profile looked fishy. So I went in and tried to delete everything they just walked me through. Suddenly, I no longer had access to my own page. I am the original creator of the page and the only admin the page has ever had. The page is only one month old. I invested tons of ad spend to build up the page to over 30K followers. The business name is incorporated in the state of Maryland. The content on the page is videos of me talking about the upcoming launch of my product and other posts. I sent in a few reports to Facebook. After reading all of these horror stories, I am scared of what is going to happen. I have not yet applied for a trademark but I do own the domain name as a website and app is in development. My son is still listed as an editor on the page. It shows that these people are now the only admin on the page. I have no role anymore. How can something like this happen? Has Facebook done anything to help address this, Sounds like in the past, they haven’t been great with resolving these issues.

    Reply
    • Therese

      Scammers are pretty slick. At this point, the only way you can get access back is with the help of someone from Facebook. If they haven’t messaged back in a couple days, I would message again and let them know you have spent money, and plan to continue. Also tell them exactly what you said here, that you’re the original admin, and have the matching domain.

      Reply
  8. Elle

    Hi Therese,

    I work for a television network and we have a Facebook page for it that is monitored by 3 admins, one being myself. A few days ago, both me and the other two admins were removed as admins, and now nobody has control over the page. We believe it was hacked, but we have no idea who hacked it or anything regarding the situation. We tried contacting Facebook, and they responded with a very unhelpful response. What do you suggest we do? Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Therese

      Unfortunately if all 3 admins were removed the only way to get it back is with the help of someone at Facebook. What I would do is to contact them again and provide them with proof that you are the rightful owner. If you have an email address that matches the page name let them know what that is. And if it matches the website listed on the page, even better. If one of the admins is the person who originally set the page up, it may be helpful if they contact FB. And whoever does contact them, even mentioning the other removes admins wouldn’t hurt.

      I’ve also heard of a few people letting Facebook know they want to buy ads for the page, and they suddenly got more help.

      Reply
  9. Sharon

    I gave a company Admin rights to my business page. The company was less then professional and I cancelled my subscription and removed them as Admin. How do I know what this Admin did to my page? Is there a way to see any history of edits and changes?

    Reply
  10. Jennifer

    The outgoing president and original creator of a neighborhood association page will not turn over rights to the page to the new president. In fact, she has renamed the page by adding one word and kicked the incoming officers off the page. She continues to post content to the 735 members as though she is still president. The new officers are getting phone calls from confused members, but the creator will not turn over the page. What do we do now? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Therese

      Woah! That’s not cool. Just about all you can do is to contact Facebook. And, if you have any type of documentation regarding the association, listing you as an officer I would include that as well. Other alternatives would be to get an attorney involved, or start from scratch.

      Reply
  11. Sansha

    Hi There,

    I have a strange problem and there is no help on facebook.
    I work for a small company in South Africa . I dont know how it happened but there is a business page in my name (first name) that owns the business page of the company i work for. I do not have access to this business page and i don’t know how to find the actual page owner. is there a way to track the owner of a page? If it was created through my personal account can i regain access… If the page that owns the facebook page has been deleted would it still show up as the owner on facebook? The trouble comes in where we need to authenticate the connection through Hootsuite. If i follow the steps to authorize the account it blocks me off and says that the page owner could not be found make sure that you are admin on that page or that you are logged in to the correct account.. Please could you advise on steps to gain access to the ghost account that holds ownership. we cannot delete the facebook account as it has been years in the making and has many followers and posts..

    Reply
  12. K-ci

    I can’t even believe this article even exists. My question to Facebook is why would you allow a guest administrator to delete the original author of a business page without the consent of the author? We are in 2019 and you are telling me that Facebook- with all of it’s fancy technology – cannot simply force a guest administrator to request permission from the original page author to remove them as administrator. I don’t get it.

    Reply
    • Therese

      Right!! You’d think they could figure something out!

      Reply
  13. Alex

    Hi there,

    I was given Editor privileges to a company Facebook account and the person who was Admin thought they had given me admin rights too. They they changed themselves to an Editor too so now no-one is admin. Is there anything that we can do to get the page back?
    She created it and we really do not want to have to create a new page and lose 4 years worth of posts and customer interaction.

    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Therese

      Since there’s no admin, the only thing I can suggest is trying to contact Facebook. (I wish Facebook would change it so this didn’t happen so often!)

      Reply
  14. Anna

    hi Terese, and thanx for a very intresting thred 🙂

    My dilemma is also on the other end – i´m accused of, hijacking a facebook group.

    To make a long story short, a fellowship agreed upon to make secret fb group with 3 objectives: encourage discussion, make communication easier and visiablility of the fellowship. These objectives were clearly stated in the first discription of the group.

    for the next year and a half, pictures, videos, dinnerplans arcticles ect were poste, manely by the payed members of the fellowship

    Then came the change – the leader to eliminate the oppertunerty to discuss and the oppertunerty to post pics ect – she wanted to make the group to a oneway communicationforum for the management of the fellowship, and ordered me to hand over admin rights (i made the group back in the day) or to delete the group.

    i refused .. this is a democracy! I will not participate in anythin that does limits freedom of speach …

    Anyway – in an attempt to delete the group herself, the leader kicked all the members out of the group and blocked them, the only remaining members were me, and the members that i made admins. Of course, i reversed all that she had done and invited the members back in, striped the leader of her rights and kicked her out. By that time, she had made an identical group – i think the only different is litteraly a (.) (ful-stop) at the end of the name.

    Needless to say, i´m under al sorts of pressure to hand her the administrative rights back .. the materials posted in the group is of special consern to her apparently (it wasent when she wanted me to delete them)

    My question is: who has the legal ownership of the materials postet in the group?

    Who own the group?

    Can the leader make an identical group?

    Drama Drama 😉

    Reply
    • Therese

      Sorry I missed your post earlier, but I’m not sure I have an answer. Since you created the group originally, it seems like you might be considered the owner. On the other hand, I suppose it would depend on what you had in writing regarding the creation of the group. Hopefully the drama has been settled by now. If not though, this may be a question for an attorney.

      Reply
  15. Daniel

    So there is a Facebook group I’m in where one of the admins removed the rest of them and won’t give them there positions back. I’m working with the admins right now to try and fix it… is there anything that could be done?

    Reply
    • Therese

      Only an admin can make someone else an admin. So, unfortunately, the admin who removed everyone else is the one in control. If someone else can prove ownership, you might try contacting Facebook. I wouldn’t hold my breath though; they may or may not get back to you.

      Reply
  16. R.

    Hi, Therese.
    This isn’t exactly like the stories above since I’m on the other end of this ordeal.
    A friend and I recently had a falling out and drama caused me to block her from Facebook. We are both aspiring authors and we had a few pages that we shared admin rights to. While removing her from my pages, I accidentally removed her from her own that she hasn’t used in a year. She proceeded to bash me on her profile by using my full name. She is demanding that I personally return the page to her while I’ve been offering to involve an unbiased third-party of her choosing to take the page off my hands and return it to her. I haven’t posted anything on the page nor tried to claim her work as my own. I even unpublished the page and was accused of deleting it. This has been going on for a week now and my best friend decided to step in and offer the page herself. She logged into my Facebook and removed me from the page after adding herself. Still, this ex friend refuses the proposal and demands that I give her the page back personally. I would have to unblock her for 48 hours to do so and I am uneasy about doing that because of the harassment that I’ve already endured. My friend and I decided that deleting the page would be the best route after this last refusal to compromise. The ex friend is threatening me with charges of theft of intellectual property because I refuse to return it personally and endure more harassment. Personally, I don’t think she even cares about the page itself, but more so about me unblocking her. My question is, if I’ve offered to return the page multiple times and haven’t truly “stolen” the material contained in the page or tried to profit from it (nor do I wish to) is it still considered theft of intellectual property and can I be charged with it? I have proof that she refused the page unless certain terms were met and that she hasn’t actually lost any material on the page. She also doesn’t have a true copyright because the book hasn’t been written yet (and if it has, I haven’t seen any of the material other than a prologue that was shared on the page). I don’t know much about the concept of the book and it’s not even my preferred genre unless you count it being “horror”. She’s also threatening to slander my name to the online author community so that it will make it difficult for me to gather a following once I reach a point where I am actively promoting my material. I doubt anything will truly come of all this because she is currently unemployed and dependant on her significant other’s minimal income. All of this came about when I decided to forgive my best friend after a prior argument and let her back into my life. I apologise if this seems like meaningless drama to you (I feel the same way), but I thought you may be able to provide some insight into the situation.

    Reply
    • Therese

      Hi R. Wow, what a drama pit you’re in. I wish I could shed some light on things for you, but my best advice would be to talk with a lawyer. It sounds like it may be past the point of you being able to work with her. It’s a shame your friendship has taken such a hit over this!

      Reply
  17. Cliff Jenkinson

    I work in an alternative shopping complex and there’s a group page to promote the businesses here. Recently a number of traders have decided to move on to a rival shopping complex and the admin of the Facebook page is refusing to pass on the admin role and is threatening to change the name of the group to the rival shopping complex. Do we have any rights? Or would Facebook allow this?

    Reply
    • Therese

      I’m not a lawyer, but if the admin who has control now has always been the admin, it seems to me like Facebook would view it as his. If it’s a pretty active group, and you really want to keep it, you may need to get a lawyer involved.

      Reply
  18. Sarah

    I’m curious about a similar situation
    What if a former employee (group creator and admin) closed the group (not page) after being fired could the company force the employee to turn over the group? Also, the group was not only created and managed by the employee but was never a company group, only a general chat group.
    Would the company have anyway of claiming the group was theirs?

    Reply
    • Therese

      I’m not sure on that one! I can see how it could go either way. If the employee created it on company time, on company computers it could belong to the company. On the other hand, it wasn’t an official company group. It sounds like a question for a lawyer.

      Reply
  19. SR

    Hi, I hope this thread is active and I receive a reply

    I made my brand page and later added my social media team, Things turned sour with them and they removed me as an admin from my own brand page. Now I have written to Facebook about the same and have also submitted a trademark registration certificate. How long will facebook take to act? Also I want the username attached with the page, how do I get control on that too

    Reply
    • Therese

      Hi there, unfortunately there’s no way to tell when someone from Facebook might answer. I’ve received replies in as little as a few days. Other times I never have. Since you submitted the trademark certificate I would think you’d have a good chance of hearing back from them. I wish I could give you a timeframe, but I can’t.

      I’m not sure what you mean exactly about the username. Are you talking about the personal profile used to login? That would belong to the person who set the personal profile up.

      Reply
  20. Maxime

    Hi Therese,

    In the past a person to work with me in my company. She created some pages that are linked to MY Business Manager so I am the only administrator. Now I no longer work with that person and I have removed it from the administrators. Does she have the right to claim these intellectual property rights on my pages? Note that currently I am the only admin of its pages.

    Reply
    • Therese

      Hi Maxine, I don’t believe she’d have any claim to the page or info. Since you’re the only admin, she’d have to contact Facebook. Plus, if the page is in the same name as your website, and you have an email address associated with your website, you should be OK. I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say for sure about claiming the intellectual rights. But since she did the work as an employee, I don’t think she’d have any claim to it.

      Reply
  21. Kate

    Hi Therese,
    I wonder if you are still active on this thread. It would be amazing if you could help me. I have run into wall after wall at Facebook, and am pulling out my hair in frustration at their horrendous customer service.
    A business page for which I was one of the admins suddenly disappeared at the end of last month. I have reason to believe that one of the other admins deleted it, since it co-incided exactly with his rather sudden leaving of the company. We have got a legal conversation going with him at the moment, and want to clarify exactly what happened to the page, so that we know whether to add it to the list of reasons to charge him. I am not having all that much luck with FB. Any idea how I might get a useful response from them?
    Thanks, in advance…

    Reply
    • Therese

      Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do if Facebook won’t answer. If your attorney has some sort of paperwork you could submit with your request to Facebook, that may get their attention. I imagine they respond to as many people as they can, but with over a billion people using Facebook, unless you’re spending money on advertising I think you’re not as much of a priority.

      Reply
      • Kate

        Thanks, Therese. I just wish that there was an easier way to connect with the back-end of Facebook instead of these useless, faceless forms. I find it ironic how the pioneers and leaders in social media can be so ridiculously unavailable. And it’s not like we have any other choice, nor any recourse should they treat us unfairly. Did we create the monster, or did it happen to us? 🙂

      • Therese

        It would be nice, huh? With 2 billion people on the app, I just get excited when I get a response of any kind! As for the monster, I think it was a group effort! LOL

  22. Amanda

    Not sure if anyone will read this but I’m hoping someone can answer my question, it’s not quite the same as the things that have been asked here.

    For several years I have been an admin on two pages that I help manage for work along with a couple of other admins. I am finding that I do not want my personal profile associated with work pages because of the messages that get sent to me from customers, so I created a ‘work profile’ on Facebook and added myself as an admin to my work pages.

    My question is, if I remove myself as an admin (the personal profile), will the posts that I have made as the page disappear? I hope my question is clear.. 🙂

    Reply
    • Therese

      Hi Amanda, your question is clear, and the posts will stay on the page. Just be sure the other admins you mentioned have full admin rights (as opposed to editor, contributor, etc.)

      Reply
  23. Bridget Graham

    This is a Terrible thing that is happening to so, so many people and sadly, I’m in the “Hijacked” club. Someone contacted me about advertising on my page and the next thing I know the page was hijacked and I was no longer the administrator. I have over 110,000 followers which took 4 years of hard work to get that many. Facebook is giving no help. It’s a simple fix,,,Make it so that the creators of a page Can’t be removed. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I just want my page back. Any suggestions? Thanks

    Reply
  24. Antoine

    iAlso lost access to mpy page, from admin to analyst. Since that no one has posted anything on the page, i’ve been hijacked and been trying and trying for a year know, i’ve gone to almost all the forum on the “facebook help center” but no one has ever helped SADLY…
    Can anyone illuminate me in this situation?

    Reply
  25. Dana

    Is there a Facebook Page Admin forum or support service for people who work as page admins? I’ve looked but I simply can not find anything like this. Thank you. CJ

    Reply
  26. Adriana Quiroz

    I need to update my business page, created by a former employee, left I’m bad term and will not transfer the admin rights to me.

    Is there anything I can do?

    Reply
    • Therese

      If you can’t get the former employee to cooperate, the only thing you can really do is to contact Facebook.

      Reply
  27. Alex

    I work for a university that is trying to clean up its many Facebook pages. One particular page that needs to be done away with is connected to only one profile account. This particular account, however, has been locked from our access because Facebook flagged it as a profile account being used as a business page. Shame on us, though I’d still like to gain access just to delete the page (and delete the profile account altogether). Logging into the profile account with username and password redirects me to beginning the steps of a profile-to-page conversion, though I’ve read once you convert, it is nearly impossible to retrieve it as a profile. Therese, holy saint of Facebook questions, do you have any ideas on how to proceed?

    Reply
    • Therese

      You know, I’ve been called expert, maven, queen, etc. but never holy saint. I rather like that, although I don’t think the pope is going to canonize me any time soon 😉

      Anyway, on to your question…

      I haven’t come across this particular situation, so I don’t know the answer for sure. I have a few thoughts though. First, if you’re going to delete the profile and page both, why not go through the conversion then delete the resulting page?

      My other thing is to try contacting Facebook. It can take a while to get an answer (if they answer) but it is a possibility. Postplanner has a great post, listing a lot of different ways to contact Facebook. Take a look at ‘Account Disabled” under Access. I’d probably start with that form. https://www.postplanner.com/how-to-contact-facebook-to-get-support/ A while back, I had someone who was having a problem getting an answer from Facebook. He wrote them alluding to the fact that he might be interested in advertising. He got a very quick response. Not saying that’ll work, but just passing along some info 😉

      I’d love to hear what the outcome is.

      Bless you! (said in my most saintly voice)

      Reply
  28. Lorri

    Long story short…Our hired Social Media Manager has changed our Admin role to Analyst because she was angry with us. It has been over three weeks. We have been in communication with Facebook with two issues…1. Our admin role was changed and 2. Our intellectual property is being violated. So far…no luck in resolving at all. Facebook Admin team tells us Facebook can’t resolve Admin issues and the folks that take care of Intellectual Property seems has replied to us, “….at your request, we will close your Intellectual Property claim and send you to the Admin team…”
    Should complaint about a free form of advertising, but…Facebook policy assures us they will protect our Intellectual Property…but so far….they haven’t. We have spoken with an attorney and what our Social Media Manager is doing….is definitely NOT legal.

    Reply
    • Therese

      I get a knot in my stomach when I read stories like this. I wish I had a bright idea on how to resolve it, but it sounds like the attorney route may be the way to go. Has a your attorney written a letter to her yet? Hopefully that will be enough for her to change your status back to admin. Once she does, take her rights away pronto!

      Reply
  29. Jay

    We successfully at regaining control over our Page once the lone Manager realized the implications and actions which could be taken by Facebook. She claimed to have deleted the page. I was able to convince her turn the page back up and add 3 new Managers. The Executive Committee voted unanimously to remove her altogether. She has been removed with minimal repercussions. The page will now be merged with a new page and managed by a team of 5 Manager Admins who will operate with a written social media policy approved by the Executive Committee. Thank you very much for your help and this forum!

    Reply
    • Therese

      Wonderful! I’m glad there was a happy ending.

      Reply
    • C

      If you could please let me know how you were able to force the former employee to add you back on? The above forms lead to nowhere, and this former manager is trying to make us pay money in exchange for control of our page.

      Reply
  30. Jay

    Our current Page manager has been hi-jacked our volunteer organization’s Page, and refuses to upgrade the Content Creator to Manager as requested by the execeutire committee. She has ignored all requests to add members of the new governance committee to the Page as Managers, and failed to respond to emails regarding the issue for months. The organization does not have email addresses with the org name to qualify for claiming the Page. iL our best option to declare the Page to be is “unauthorized”? The members of our governance committee have created a new Page with a variation of the old name that we would like to Merge. We would like to reach an amiable solution.

    Reply
    • Therese

      That might be the best way to go about it. Do you have a website that matches the Facebook page? I’m guessing you don’t based on what you said but if so, reference that in your message when you contact FB.

      Reply
      • Jay

        Unfortunately, we have no website to match. We will be sure to do that plus provide a record of all attempts to have made to bring her into ocmpliance with the governance committee’s wishes, which are now a drective. Thank you for your advice. So we will use the ‘unauthorized page’ approach mmediately if she fails to appear at our meeting this week.

      • Therese

        Good luck! I hope you’re able to work things out.

  31. CAFE NOUF

    I lost the admin rights for my Business Face Book Page, I am not able to get it back, the person who hijacked it has all the rights now, I can not do anything about it, Very Frustrating

    Reply
  32. Matelli

    I’m part of an open-source project, we contacted the creator of the page we would like to use, but he lost admin access for this page. The page is adminless (I guess). Our project name/logo is not registered. Any idea on how we can take over this page?

    Reply
    • Therese

      If he lost access, there’s no easy way to regain it. You can try contacting Facebook by filling out this form.

      Reply
  33. Colin

    I was hired as the Social Media Manager for a nonprofit, and I learned that their Facebook page was created by a former employee, and no one knows who. I tried contacting the administrator for the page and received no reply. What makes this situation different from the scenario above, is that I don’t know the username of the person I’d be reporting for infringement. Is there anything I can do to find out the username of a page’s current administrator?

    Reply
    • Therese

      Unless the person made the page admin public, you won’t be able to find out. However, you shouldn’t need the person’s name. If you fill out one of the forms listed above, that should suffice.

      Reply
  34. Duke

    I have deleted my personal account, not realizing it is so tied to the business page, is there a way to recover admin to a business page, the page is still live but has no admin. So strange!

    Reply
    • Therese

      Try logging in to your old profile with the email / password you used to login with before you deleted it. It may restore your admin privileges for the page.

      Reply
  35. Trevor

    I’ve posted my claim about 2 years ago and go every day at the Church for praying ever since. I don’t think God has heard me yet.

    Reply

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