Two WAND Facebook Pages Suspended After Being Reported as Offensive

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Tuesday, we posted on Facebook our report about a man hanging Nazi flags outside his house, a report we thought was fair.  Facebook then took down two of WAND's entire Facebook pages, after viewers reported the post as offensive.  Facebook has a list of community standards that all accounts have to abide by.  Many believed the photo was a violation of those standards and reported it as offensive, so the pages were suspended.  But the question remains, was that fair?

"I don't think it should have been taken down," said one community resident.
 
Another resident said, "You're recognized as a news source.  So why take down the news and the controversy of what you posted."

But, according to cyber experts, Facebook doesn't always view a post in context.

"When someone reports an image or posting as a possible violation to their terms of service they are looking at that single image or single post or determination without looking at the totality of the entire web page," said computer forensic expert, Andrew Garrett.

He says, in a given year, anywhere between 60 and 60,000 business Facebook accounts are terminated.  As for personal accounts, close to half a million.

"They don't make money from the individual subscriber, so from their point of view they have a right to do anything they want, including terminating the account because they don't like the color the background," said Garrett.

He says anything that could potentially get Facebook sued or cause them to lose subscribers is in the line of fire.

"What is boils down to is Facebook tracks how many people don't like what you posted," said Garrett.

Specifically, the number of people who've reported your post as offensive or inappropriate.

"It's as few as five," said Garrett.  "If five people don't like what you posted, you're instantly flagged and put into one bucket.  When more people don't like it within a certain time period, let's say a day I think it's 10, you get flagged and put into their bucket for review.  If a thousand people don't like what you say, you get terminated for review."

And because it's a free service, Facebook can do that without explanation.  Wednesday, Facebook reactivated the pages on the condition that the post were removed.  Our pages are back up and running tonight.



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