I used to run a couple of Facebook fanpages. One of them was shut down three times, apparently for being homophobic. It was quite the opposite, actually. The name could be confusing, because it was a word play on the Polish word for “faggot” and a name of a Polish gossip portal. But the content was specifically anti-homophobic! It was a rainbow meme aggregator, basically a gay version of 9gag.
But the thing is, I can only assume why did people report my fanpage and why did moderators remove it. Did someone just assume it’s homophobic without actually checking it out? Or quite the opposite: did someone consider homosexuality an abomination and just reported everything that’s even remotely gay? I’ll never know. The only thing Facebook bothered to tell me is that “I’ve abused the Community Standards”. I’ve read them thoroughly and there was no abuse of them from my side.
The same thing happened with my other fanpage. This one managed to get quite popular before it was taken down. Sure, it was controversial, poking fun at religion and stuff. But still, without breaching any of the Community Standards.
And that was too much for me. I’ve put so much work into creating all that, and now it gets removed without a warning by some anonymous guy who doesn’t specify a reason? How on Earth could I learn to comply with the Community Standards, when there’s no way to find out what I did wrong? Now, if I start over or start something new, I’ll be writing every new post and creating every new meme under a threat that someone’s whim might destroy all that at any moment.
If that wasn’t annoying enough, I could always get “consolation” from checking out all the pages that didn’t get suspended or removed. Alt-right, nationalists, fascists, racists, haters... Almost all my reports of obvious pedophile dens or of hate speech cases, were answered with “sorry, but they didn’t do anything wrong”. At the same time Atheist Republic has been temporarily banned, among with many other pages for atheists and ex-Muslims. Even My country? Europe., a neutral, positive fanpage, for some reason received that treatment as well. What the fuck, Facebook?
This unpredictability, apparent randomness, total lack of transparency and plain injustice are the main reason why I hate Facebook. (And also being a way heavier and slower website/app than acceptable...)
But the problem is, they practically have a monopoly. Most of my friends are on Facebook. Most of my communication goes through Messenger. It’s really hard to boycott that company...
It is, however, doable not to depend on them completely. Whatever I post over there, I would not care losing. The stuff I do care about, is all on my own server – with frequent backups, reliability and independence.
Oh Facebook.. I know that for now we are forced to stay together in our toxic relationship. But please know that I hate you.