Facebook censorship has effectively barred my business from their platform and is materially impacting the livelihood of my customers.
Unfortunately I have no insight into the offending content, and the offending content can be anything from a nipple to now apparently even a MAGA hat.
Now I am personally blocked on Instagram from liking photos or sending DMs. I can’t sign into my company Instagram account. And Facebook has reached into my Page’s support inbox and removed private message between myself and customers.
How I noticed
A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my personal Instagram and double-tapped a photo. Instead of seeing a red heart, I received this message.
Tapping “Tell us” simply says, “Thanks for reporting this issue.”
In my Instagram bio is a link to my personal portfolio, watilo.foliohd.com. Because of this link, I effectively became completely blocked from interacting with anyone on Instagram.
As the result of a single person sharing a link to a portfolio that Facebook deemed to have offensive content, they have now blocked the entire foliohd.com domain.
It even prevented me from sending direct messages with ANY links.
In order to restore my personal Instagram account, I’d have to remove the URL from my bio.
Using Facebook’s Sharing Debugger confirms the URL was blocked on the entire Facebook ecosystem.
Of course Facebook has a way to report this issue on their developer site, but we know where those messages go. (A giant black hole.)
But the problems don’t end there. Since Instagram has been seamlessly integrated into the Facebook ecosystem, any account containing a blocked URL on Facebook has related consequences on Instagram.
I can’t sign into the FolioHD Instagram account, because Facebook won’t send a security code by email, presumably because it has foliohd.com in the email.
But it gets worse: Visiting the FolioHD Facebook support inbox has led me to discover that Facebook is removing private messages between customers and myself, because they contain a link to foliohd.com inside of them.
I’m thankful I don’t rely on the Facebook support inbox, but I do have an auto-reply set up for anyone who sends a message there, directing them to contact support via foliohd.com.
Since Facebook is blocking links, that auto-reply no longer gets sent.
Any social posts created through a Buffer-style service, even using a bitly link, gets posted briefly, then removed, with no notice.
And the worst part: there is no way to resolve this.
Now my customers can no longer share links to their websites within the Facebook ecosystem. They had nothing to do with this, and yet their businesses are being affected.
My request to Facebook would be to reconsider how they handle sites with user-generated content, in the same way Google handles it in their index. If a subdomain contains offending content, it shouldn’t poison the root domain and every other subdomain.
And Facebook should probably never weasel their way into private company inboxes to remove content retroactively. You break the trust of any business by pulling these kind of moves. How can we rely on you for anything if your censorship is a moving target?
And if anyone knows how to get Facebook to fix this, please let me know. Short of filing a lawsuit, I’m not sure how to get this resolved.