There seems to be a lot of confusion on how public Facebook pages work. So I'm hoping this blog can help bring some clarity.
When you are on Facebook and you are given the option to "Like" a page that means you are on a public page. Meaning anything you comment on or if you were to post directly to the wall it can be seen by the public. Even when you simply like" something on a public page it can show up in your friends news feed or even just random people who click on the likes.
Another way to find out if the page or post you are commenting on is public is by looking directly under the pages name and it will show you a globe icon. Anytime you see that globe icon it means the public can see the post. You are given that option on personal Facebook pages as well. Sometimes people will post directly to our page wall and think only we can see the post, but that is not the case. The only private interaction you get on a public page is if you were to private message the page. Other than that anything you post to the wall, like, or comment on can be seen by anyone.
A lot of times there will be people who make crude/spammy comments or wall-posts to a public page. Which is why Facebook gives the page admins the ability to ban people from interacting on the page. When someone gets banned from a public page they are still able to see and share content off the page , but are just no longer able to interact and engage with the page. Unlike in a Facebook closed/secret group setting where banning not only kicks them out of the group, but prevents them from seeing the group or the content inside the group.
I have had people request that I make my public page "Breastfeeding Mama Talk" into a private member only page, but that is not possible. Even if I wanted to Facebook does not give the option to do that. Even if I were to start a private page I believe it's against Facebook policy for organizations and businesses to make private profiles. We do however offer a closed group setting and we offer quite a few different closed group settings and they are all listed on our BFMT Outlets webpage.
How are closed/secret Facebook groups different from a public page?
For one, you have to be a member of the group to see the group content. In order to be a member you have to click "join group" and how we have the BFMT groups set up an admin must approve you in. Some groups have it set up to where any member or admin can approve new members in. At BFMT, we have a screening process and a lot of our groups are women only since we discuss sensitive topics and it's just the atmosphere we offer. When someone gets banned from a group the person that was banned can no longer see the group or the content inside the group. I think many people get the group setting and features confused with the public page setting.
One of the reasons I created our group setting was the overload of shares and questions that came into the public page. Having the group atmosphere any member is able to post their own questions and shares without having to wait for an admin to post. It gives the members more freedom and more privacy, but even in our group settings there is still risk of trolls and information leaving the group and that is out of our control. Another great thing about a closed/secret group verse the page is when you post to the group, comment, or like something the only people who can see that are the other members inside the group. Meaning people on your friends list (unless they are members in the group) will not be able to see any of your activity in that group. Whereas on a public page anything you do can be seen by anyone even people who don't have the page liked.
Why can't you just turn your public Fan page and make it a Private members only page?
For one, that isn't a possible option to do that which is why Facebook offers the group settings and two I made the public fan page because I wanted a public fan page.
Can't you just restrict a certain person from seeing the content on the public page?
Unfortunately, there is no way to restrict certain people from seeing and sharing content on a public page.