Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his girlfriend Priscilla Chan have created a Facebook Page for their new puppy, Beast. It currently has 17 photos of the little white dog and has already garnered over 16,000 Facebook Likes. Think of the Facebook Page as a template for your own pet:
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Affiliation: I belong to Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.
Birthday: January 10, 2011
Biography: I am a Puli, which is a type of Hungarian Sheepdog. I was born in Grants Pass, Oregon and now I live in Palo Alto with Mark and Cilla. I am extremely cute.
Personal Interests: Cuddling, Loving and Eating
I don't think I'm going to bother putting my dog Jake on Facebook, and I frankly couldn't care less about Beast, but I do find the creation of his Facebook Page mildly interesting. Everything Zuckerberg does on Facebook naturally has to go through the PR department. Notice that Beast did not get a Facebook Group or a Facebook Profile. Beast got a Facebook Page for a reason.
At least one of my Facebook friends has put their pet on the social network. The Aniol family decided their puppy was mature enough to get its own Facebook Profile: Saba Aniol has eight friends. This breaks at least three rules of Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, including:
- You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
- You will not create more than one personal profile.
- You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
Saba's profile happens to be public, but there is an option of making it private. With a Facebook Page, this is not possible. Furthermore, when you're creating a Facebook Page, there's no mention of "animal" or "pet" anywhere. Zuckerberg had to click on "Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business" then "Artist, Band or Public Figure" and then "Public Figure" to give Beast a presence on Facebook. That's not exactly a crystal clear process.
Animals (or "nonhumans" for all those who will point out that humans are also animals) are going to make their way on Facebook one way or another, and the social network clearly believes that Facebook Pages are the best place for them. Do they even belong on Facebook? Strictly speaking, the answer is no, since they're not human. Still, that's not a good enough reason for many people, as they see their pets in a social light. Have you ever put a nonhuman on Facebook, and if so, how did you do it?