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September 5, 2012

I. Facebook Requiring Municipalities to Change Identification on Site

II. NLC Webinar on Municipal Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

Dear Mayor:

I. Facebook Requiring Municipalities to Change Identification on Site
We have been advised that some municipalities have, recently, received notices from Facebook requiring changes in how they identify themselves on the social networking service. Facebook user rules require that page names cannot be generic in nature and under the terms of agreement, some cities' names fall under this designation.

The National League of Cities advises that Facebook is concerned about potential user confusion, regarding who controls a particular page. For example, "City of XYZ" has a Facebook page. Is this the city, the mayor's office or the tourism office? Municipalities that have a unified voice seem to be most at risk of receiving the notices, as they may have a more generic name. In the case of the example, Facebook has been requesting that "City of XYZ" change their name to "City of XYZ Government" to avoid confusion. There is some flexibility on how a municipality can identify its Facebook account. Some have chosen City Government Of, others City, State Government or some City of _______ Government.

Facebook has stated that if a municipality has a vanity URL, it does not have to change the page URL, just the name. Additionally, no municipality will lose fans or content as they make the switch.

Facebook has been communicating with municipalities via email exchanges. Accordingly, we are advised that some may have missed the notices. The notices contain a countdown for the municipality to change the name or risk losing access to the page. One notable example is Munich, Germany. If access is interupted, the administrator of the page will need to discuss with Facebook getting the page turned back on.

Facebook has stated they will continue to push for these changes. To help create awareness of this issue, NLC and Facebook will be offering a webinar on September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT, to explain the needed change and how the transition process will work.

Details: For more information and to register for the webinar please visit:


II. NLC Webinar on Municipal Compliance with the Affordable Care Act

Be advised that the National League of Cities has also scheduled a Webinar to assist municipalities in complying with the Affordable Care Act. For information and to register for that session, which will be delivered on Tuesday, September 11 from NOON to 1:00 P.M., visit:
If you have any difficulties in accessing the National League of Cities sites, contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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