Facebook on July 13, 2017 (today) has released a punishing block of our shared links on our official Facebook page (Facebook.com/ArlingtonCardinal). According to Facebook, the block was scheduled to be released on July 26, 2017 at 5:50 a.m. About 5:50 a.m. on the morning of June 26, 2017, Facebook notified the official page for The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com that the page (Facebook.com/Arlingtoncardinal) was suspended from sharing links in the timeline. The Cardinal was punished by Facebook with no specific explanation.
RELEASED EARLY …
With today’s release on the suspension and punishment about 3:25 p.m. July 13, 2017, there is no explanation or apology from Facebook.
What Happened to The Cardinal?
Monday June 26, 2017 at 5:50 a.m. Arlingtoncardinal.com was bullied by Facebook. The official Facebook page (Facebook.com/Arlingtoncardinal) received the following notice …
“Your page has been blocked from sharing links. This limit is temporary and expires Wednesday, July 26 at 5:50 a.m.”
Below the message were two buttons “Learn More” and “Appeal”
In the “Learn More” section you would probably expect to see a specific mention or reference to an actual violation of their policy.
Nothing. Simply a general troubleshooting page with an inpage link to Why are there limits on my Facebook Page?
Page Limits (Facebook Notification)
Why are there limits on my Facebook Page?
Sometimes, we place limits on Pages that don’t follow the Facebook Pages Terms. For example, Pages that publish spam may be unpublished, or the Like button may be disabled on Pages that deceptively get likes. These limits apply to activity coming from the Page, not to posts other people publish on the Page.
Limits on your Page may be temporary or permanent. You can find out at the top of your Page.
If you believe that your Page received limits by mistake, please let us know by going to your Page and clicking Appeal below the limit’s description at the top of your Page.
Notice that the above example references spam behavior, which you will see below from the response to our appeal that spam behavior was not the accusation against Facebook.com/ArlingtonCardinal. The Facebook accusation was that we were “causing people to like or engage it (our page) unintentionally in a misleading way.”
An appeal was made, and the appeal was rejected, again with no specific details in a message that referred to guidelines. Why didn’t Facebook cite the policy violation? Was it because they didn’t have a case?
Facebook Email Replying to the Appeal
Your Page has been temporarily restricted for causing people to like or engage with it unintentionally in a misleading way. Our Page Terms state that: ‘Pages must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content.’ All Pages must comply with the Facebook Page Guidelines.
For more information, please read the Pages Terms:
For Pages you’d like to launch in the future, please first make adjustments to ensure you’re providing a good user experience and meeting our policies.
The Facebook Team
There was no reply from Facebook regarding the follow up message below …
The Cardinal sent this follow up message to the appeal
A 3-day suspension would get my attention. A 30-day suspension is simply bullying or damaging my business. Facebook has blocked sharing capability for Facebook.com/Arlingtoncardinal without any details on which specific article was violating your policies. I share major media articles and articles from a local news blog and I avoid any fringe or “fake news” websites. How am I supposed to operate if I am fearful I will share some article that will trigger the policy violation again? https://www.facebook.com/ArlingtonCardinal/posts/10155432974952380
The Facebook block and punishment was particularly damaging to our popularity. Below is a graph that shows our drop in popularity after June 26, 2017, which came immediately after a successful week of being the first media source reporting “REAL NEWS” about a chainsaw attack on Golf Road in Arlington Heights that occurred on June 19, 2017 …
Facebook insight graph regarding the popularity and drop of reach of Facebook.com/ArlingtonCardinal following a suspension of link sharing by Facebook.
The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com since its founding on September 12, 2001 has been dedicated with painstaking effort to provide accurate news with disclaimers and explanations when breaking news could be inaccurate or undeveloped.
It was particularly distressing to receive unjust punishment because Facebook (boasting 2 billion members the same week as the unjust suspension) is a universal, worldwide media sharing social media company that has no effective competition, which makes Facebook a monopoly — practicing unfair trade practice against a small media company. The action against Arlingtoncardinal.com placed it at distinct disadvantage competing against larger media sources, such as the Daily Herald, Chicago Tribune, ABC 7 Chicago, all other local media sources, other similar Facebook pages, and Facebook itself.
Facebook through the years has encouraged Arlingtoncardinal.com (with direct messages) to share media articles and respond quickly to Facebook page subscribers. Arlingtoncardinal.com has invested highly significant energy, time, money and other resources interfacing with Facebook and integrating Facebook resources, like many other news media companies.
It was also particularly distressing when The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com realized that breaking news and breaking weather alerts were hindered by Facebook’s actions, which hurt our consumers and Facebook’s consumers. Particularly damaging and worrisome was the concern that our consumers or subscribers would be hurt in the event of a major disaster in Arlington Heights or Chicagoland, such as severe weather damage, a tornado, train derailment, terror act, or other major news event during the suspension. This seemed particularly ironic since Facebook hopes to transform disaster response worldwide. Particularly with Facebook Safety Check, which is a feature activated by Facebook during natural or man-made disasters (e.g., terrorist acts) to quickly determine whether people in the affected geographical area are safe. Considering select examples, Facebook Safety Check was activated during the Grenfell Tower Fire, London (June 14, 2017); the 2017 Westminster attack, London (March 22, 2017); the January 2017 Jerusalem vehicular attack (January 8, 2017); the 2016 Berlin attack (December 19, 2016); 2016 Oakland warehouse fire (December 2, 2016); the 2016 Wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee area (November 28, 2016); the 2016 Ohio State University attack (November 28, 2016); the 2016 Chelsea bombing (September 17–19, 2016); the 2016 Munich shooting at OEZ (July 22, 2016); the 2016 Nice, France Vehicle Attack (July 12 2016); the 2016 shooting of Dallas police officers (July 7, 2016); the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting (June 12, 2016) and more. Arlingtoncardinal.com and official Facebook pages would likely be instrumental in sharing important information along with official Facebook pages, such as official police department Facebook pages and official local government Facebook pages.
Facebook should act very carefully when suspending a page or features of a page that is involved in providing emergency alerts to a geographic area. Consider Facebook’s exposure to liability if a Facebook page that has a history of providing emergency alerts to thousands of subscribers is hindered by Facebook’s deliberate actions.
The damaging action of Facebook was extremely distressing, and personally caused The Cardinal publisher migraine headaches, low back pain, general anxiety, depression, and outright anger.
Facebook never responded to any additional attempts by Arlingtoncardinal.com to request additional appeal beyond the initial rejection of the first appeal, which was non-explanatory.
THE GOOD NEWS …
The good news is that the suspension of shared links has been de-activated. The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com enjoys many of the excellent features of Facebook, which have become universally utilized features worldwide. While Twitter provides excellent news feed capabilities, no other social media company provides the wide range of features of Facebook, which makes it the equivalent of a utility like telephone service or Internet service itself.
These features of Facebook include …
filtered messaging that is better than tradition email;
the ability to share photos and create photo albums for friends and subscribers;
live video of breaking news events;
the ability to share and embed articles from other media sources for encouragement of freedom of speech and new information;
the ability to embed articles from other news sources, which automatically creates referring links to said new sources;
the ability to show good will toward other news sources by sharing quality news articles, or showing analysis or critique of lesser quality news articles;
the tremendous reach by feeding The Cardinal’s published articles to a mass audience (our own articles were also disabled from sharing on Facebook, except for a labor-intensive work around that we discovered);
the ability of commenting by the mass audience;
the ability to block or hid abusive comments; and
the ability of sharing by the mass audience.
Despite having great features, Facebook showed a great level of abuse of power and immaturity by its initial action, and by its inability to allow customer service interaction (which is quite hypocritical considering its almost daily encouragement of page administrators to be highly responsive to page subscribers).
For those that want to argue that Facebook is merely a social media site, and not a utility; consider the fact that Facebook messaging can be used to alert friends or officials in an emergency via Wi-Fi when cell service is not available. While many police departments and fire department post disclaimers that their social media pages aren’t monitored 24 hours per day for emergency notification, they wouldn’t likely ignore a message for help if they detected such a message on their official page. Of course, calling 9-1-1 is a superior route for emergency calls for help, but also consider the case where voice cannot be used because a hiding victim doesn’t want the attacker to hear the call for help. The argument that Facebook isn’t an important, possibly life saving, utility is weak.
While The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com is grateful for the early deactivation of the suspension, there is an urgent need for citizens and businesses worldwide, and the US government (particularly US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission) to demand that Facebook drop their abusive power practices and lack of customer service. The Cardinal expects and demands that Facebook will mature to a reliable and fair social media utility. All world citizens and businesses should demand the same.
See also …
The Cardinal When Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Acts Like a Bully, How Can We Believe Facebook Is Anti-Bully?
Get updates from The Cardinal ALL NEWS FEEDS on Facebook. Just ‘LIKE’ the ‘Arlington Cardinal Page (become a fan of our page). The updates cover all posts and sub-category posts from The Cardinal — Arlingtoncardinal.com. You can also limit feeds to specific categories. See all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages at Arlingtoncardinal.com/about/facebook …
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