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Facebook Finally Gets Its Kailuas Right

April 3, 2014, 6:59 PM HST
* Updated April 4, 11:20 AM
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Facebook has responded to pleas from users – and to a legislative action not yet passed – to refine its designation of Hawaii’s two Kailuas.

According to House Resolution 165, the social media site had failed to clearly differentiate between Kailua on Oahu and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

As a result, people and businesses wanting to tag themselves as being at the Oahu version have had to settle for nearby Lanikai, or mistakenly used Kailua-Kona.

The measure said the one on Oahu was incorrectly listed as “Kailua Village, Honolulu County, Hawaii,” while Kailua-Kona was listed as both “Kailua, Hawaii County, Hawaii” and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii County, Hawaii.”

And that was simply unacceptable, according to the resolution’s sponsors, Rep. Nicole Lowen, who represents the district that includes Kailua-Kona; and Rep. Chris Lee and Sen. Laura Thielen, who represent Kailua, Oahu.

According to the resolution, “… Inaccurate location information on Facebook pages affects the economic well-being of the people, businesses, cities, counties, and states listed by the platform.”

“The town of Kailua on the island of Oahu and Kailua-Kona on the island of Hawaii are independent, vibrant communities with rich histories and strong community spirit, both of which include residents and businesses affected by social media,” the resolution said.

HR 165 was heard Wednesday by the House Committee on Veterans, Military & International Affairs, & Culture and the Arts, where it was unanimously passed by the six of the committee’s 11 members who were present.

It was adopted by the full House today, but the vote was apparently unnecessary.

Apparently spurred by media accounts – and a Facebook page entitled “Face Book Please add our town Kailua” – the social networking giant had already changed the Oahu town to “Kailua, Honolulu County.”

The action has been endorsed by posters on the “add our town” page.

“Thank you!” wrote Robin Hayes Ingram. “I am tired of being marked as growing up on the Big Island, when that is not the case.”

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