Facebook’s Delicate Community Standards

Facebook’s “community standards” did not enter my thoughts last night when I was posting about what I love and hate about Facebook. Had I been writing that post today, it would have been a very different story. 

This afternoon, I set up a new page on Facebook with the aim of extending my reach to new readers by using a popular bookish hashtag phrase, What To Read, as the title. 

As soon as I had set up the page, Facebook started coaching me to complete certain steps to make my page more visible. 

Profile photo: check.
Cover photo: check. 
First post: check. 

Oops! My first post violated Facebook’s delicate community standards. 
Want to know what it said? 

So… people can freely incite hate, vilify and shame others, put up pictures of them humiliating themselves… but I can’t suggest that my friends might like a page about books? 

Wow. 
Maybe I should have said something dumb instead. 

May the fates be in my favour when I actually start encouraging people to read. 

***

Update: it took me three attempts to share this blogpost on Facebook.
If they don’t want me to be snarky, they’re going the wrong way about it.

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6 thoughts on “Facebook’s Delicate Community Standards

  1. Joanne, having read this, I nipped over to my FB author page and found one of my links (to my WP blog) had fallen foul of the same delicate sensibilities. No idea at all why – it’s just the beginning of a simple short story. At the same time they were encouraging me to pay money to ‘boost this post’! And they wonder why people are deserting FB.

      1. Since then they have apologised, said they made a mistake and reinstated the post! I didn’t ask them to review it. As you say, people seem able to post the most vile hatred-filled stuff without challenge. Could it be that we, as writers, might have the temerity to try to tell people about our books without paying for the privilege? Call me suspicious, but I bet it has far more to do with money than with ‘community standards’.

  2. I don’t know how many times I have reported actual hate speech to FB and told it doesn’t violate standards … but people screencapping hate speech directed *at them* have been shut down. I shared a blog post on writing research by a fellow author, and had it shut down as *spam.*

    Honestly, I think it’s whatever the techbro at the desk that day decides.

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