I spend a fair amount of time debating with myself if I should leave in references to Facebook in copy. Usually it's of the nature of some community group saying "for more on our event or group see our Facebook page at ...."

I don't feel horribly inclined to promote Facebook in my print pages or send people off our website. However, we do include links to other websites where more information is available, so I'm wondering to myself why Facebook would be different.

Maybe it's just that I'm not a fan. Or that they're sucking dollars from the industry. Or that so much misinformation is spread (during recent fires in Northern California social media had entire towns in flames that never saw a flame the whole fire siege).

Just wondering how everyone else handles this issue. Do you leave in references? Do you kill all references to Facebook and other social media sites?

Wayne R. Agner, editor and publisher

The Trinity Journal, P.O. Box 340, Weaverville, California 96093-0340, 530-623-2055

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I expect a lot of us feel the same way. I look forward to the answers you receive.

We promote a company who actively seeks our destruction (no matter what blather about “partnerships” and “local news” they drone on about.)

Are we taking the “high road” to self-destruction? I don’t know….    

Thomas V. Ward, publisher

The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, Rode Island 02865, 401-334-9555, ext. 123

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Unless it’s absolutely necessary to cite the exact service, I usually go with “a public post” or “a post on social media.” 

However, we will use “in a Facebook Messenger interview” or “in a Messenger interview" for someone we’ve reached via that service.

Seth Carlson, Managing Editor

Price County Review, Park Falls, Wisconsin, www.pricecountyreview.com, (715) 718-4683

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I would look at it this way: If you would mention a group’s own website, then you should leave it in. If you wouldn’t, then Facebook would be no different. A lot of groups are using Facebook as their de facto websites these days. 

The one thing you may want to consider is adding a promo for your own print or online events page either as a kicker to that story or as a house ad next to it. That way it will reinforce that you, and not Facebook, are the local place to go for local events. 

Gordon Cameron, Group Managing Editor 

Hamilton Community News, Glanbrook Gazette and The Sachem, 333 Arvin Ave., Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada L8E 2M6, Tel: (289) 765-0221 | Mobile: (905) 902-4957, www.hamiltonnews.com

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As a newspaper editor, my job is to tell what needs to be told. If a reader wants more information that my space allows, he or she can find it through their own connections, internet or otherwise. We report; we're not advisers.

There are situations where we include a phone number or an address of some type, if that information is warranted; signing up for a class or ordering the newest edition of the state transportation map are two examples.

Certainly, Facebook -- Swiss cheese for facts -- needs no help from me.

Brad Martin, Editor

Hickman County Times, Centerville Tennessee

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Remember that Facebook isn't just used to advertise events. People use it to communicate with each other, like in Facebook groups. Much of the information shared on Facebook wouldn't go in the newspaper in any form, whether it's for a calendar, news story or paid ad.

However, if a website and a Facebook page are both provided for a story, I'm more likely to just publish the website. 

Katie Rohman, Regional Editor

Duluth Media Group, Lake County News-Chronicle, Pine Journal, Superior Telegram, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802, 218-723-5334

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I agree with Gordon on this one, although like many others I have grave reservations about Facebook (and have for a long time — I deleted my Facebook page more than a decade ago out of concern about how the company could monetize personal information).

That said, one way around the issue may be to just use the attribution: “For more information, visit Group Names website at http://urlurlurl.url. If FB is the URL, fine, but there is no need to refer to FB by name. If a group uses FB as its website, treat it like you would any other website (we don’t usually say “See the group’s Wordpress site at ….” or “See the group’s Drupal site at ….” Treat FB as you would any other web-based CMS, and mention it by name only when the CMS is part of the story.

Bill Reader

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

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To be clear, we ALWAYS give web sites and Facebook pages when we do a “new business” story. We’re happy to help them get off the ground. 

After that, no web sites, no FB pages listed in any story. 

We share phone numbers and email addresses in our stories, as we have for many years, so people can find the contact person or group. 

And our editor does indeed work FB to find good news stories. Some people, sadly, think that posting on FB is the same as a local newspaper story. It’s not, as we all know, and we try to help coach them around that. It’s a process. 

Thomas V. Ward, publisher

The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, Rode Island 02865, 401-334-9555, ext. 123

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Whether to cite Facebook by name depends to me on the situation.

If Facebook is a source for a piece of information, it should be named, like any other source. Since when have we liked everyone we used as a source? I know I've cited Facebook comments and other bits of information I've obtained there from time to time.

I disagree that Facebook should be treated just like any other website, with only the URL included. Facebook isn't like other websites -- its design and purpose is fundamentally different -- and it shouldn't be treated like it is. The same is true for Twitter. 

Blake Gumprecht, reporter

El Paso Times, Las Cruces, New Mexico

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