Pottermore Facebook Community

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Community
Name: Pottermore Facebook Community
Date(s): ~August 2011 - present
Type:
Fandom: Harry Potter/Pottermore
URL: https://www.facebook.com/
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The Pottermore Facebook community is a community of Harry Potter fans from the website Pottermore, which developed alongside Pottermore during the time that the website was in beta. Due to the site’s restrictive moderation, Pottermore members wanted a space where they could converse more freely, share media, form groups and share information about their lives.

A handful of Pottermore users also had Google Plus or Twitter accounts, but by far Facebook was the most popular social media option among the community. It was often referred to as "the Book of Faces", as Pottermore's moderation prevented users from sharing links or website names. Later, when the moderators grew wise to this technique, the community developed creative variations such as "the Book with many Faces" or "phase bo ock".

It was common for Pottermore members to create a dedicated Facebook account, usually under their Pottermore handle or nickname, in order to interact with the community, but there were some who used their “muggle” (real-life) account to take part in the community.

Some users were happy to upload photographs of their real-life appearances to their Pottermore Facebook account, while others preferred to use avatar creators or dollmakers, such as Doll Divine, to represent themselves.

The Pottermore Facebook community spanned all houses, with each house having its own active community and groups. Some groups also brought together members from different houses, usually focused on a common activity such as brewing or duelling.

After Pottermore announced that it would be removing all forms of commenting from the site in April 2015, the Pottermore community rushed to get those of its number who weren't already on Facebook onto the site. After comments were removed, they communicated this message by sending gifts of masks and books ("face books") to the users they wanted to come to the site.

Members of Pottermore are still active on Facebook to this day, although in much smaller numbers than during the community's heyday.

Facebook Real Name Policy

While Facebook was far preferable to Pottermore as a place for Pottermore users to gather and socialise, and allowed the Pottermore community a lot more freedom, there was one major drawback. The vast majority of the Pottermore community used Facebook under a pseudonym, which went against Facebook’s requirement for users to create an account under their legal name.

As a result, the Pottermore Facebook community suffered regular waves of reportings and bannings, and it was not uncommon for users to disappear and reappear with a new Facebook account, or have to change their name to something more “muggle”-like in order to escape detection by Facebook.[1]

Numerous Facebook accounts belonging to Pottermore members were banned over the years, and the posts they had made were deleted along with them, meaning that huge sections of the community’s activity and history have been lost for good.

In September 2014, Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy attracted mainstream attention after a number of prominent drag queens had their Facebook accounts reported and suspended for using pseudonyms to access the site.[2] Other affected groups included adult actors, gamers, members of the furry community and members of the wider LGBT+ community.

The Pottermore community were active in the protests that followed in an attempt to force Facebook to change its policy,[3] but ultimately, no substantive policy change was achieved.[4] Even though the Pottermore community suffered regular and heavy losses of personal data, memories and beloved accounts due to Facebook’s policy, there was never a concerted attempt to move away from the site, as the community was too well-established there and it would have been difficult to start again from scratch on another platform.

List of Pottermore Facebook Groups

Multi-House

  • The PM Glitch Hunters: A multi-house group for Pottermore members to report, share and laugh about the many glitches encountered on Pottermore.
  • The Writing Bugs: A group for lovers of Harry Potter fanfiction and other writing.
  • Mrs W’s Army (Formerly Hufflepuff only, now multi-house): Named for a beloved Pottermore beta user, Mrs W, Mrs W’s Army was originally founded as a group to promote cheer and good fun in the Hufflepuff Common Room. Now it is a multi-house group for wizarding jokes, memories and roleplay.
  • Pottermore Brewing Contests: The home of inter-house brewing contests.

Gryffindor

Hufflepuff

  • Helga’s Army: A group aimed at encouraging active points earning among members of Hufflepuff House no matter their skill level. The group ran events and challenges, shared duelling and brewing tips and tried to encourage the wider house to earn points for the House Cup.
  • Badgers Brewing Basement (now the Hex Help Basement): A group for new and experienced potioneers to share tips, request ingredients and celebrate their milestones.
  • Hufflepuff Choir and Dance Club: A group for organising “performances” of songs and music in the Common Room, Great Hall and other areas.
  • Casa Hufflepuff Pottermore: A Spanish-language group for Pottermore Hufflepuffs.

Ravenclaw

Slytherin

References

  1. Facebook post by River Taylor, 24 September 2014 (Accessed 14 September 2017). ”I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with the information, but I want to make a list of everyone who's been affected by Facebook's "real name only" policy. […] Feel free to include details about how you were blocked/suspended and for how long, what verification method(s) you had to undergo, how long you've had your account for, any messages that Facebook sent to you, any action you were forced to take as a result (e.g. changing your name).”
  2. Drag Queens, Other Performers Outraged As Facebook Forces Them To Use Their Real Names [Updated] by SFist, published September 11, 2014 (Accessed September 14, 2017).
  3. For anyone who has been forced to change your name! by Flora Seeker, Facebook. Posted October 13, 2014 (Accessed September 14, 2017).
  4. Dear Facebook, #MyNameIs Sunny Megatron, sunnymegatron.com. Published October 3, 2014 (Accessed September 14, 2017).