Is Facebook trying to silence the BP Boycott?
A few hours ago, Facebook censors removed the Boycott BP fan page, which had almost 800,000 members. It’s unclear why Facebook took the boycott page down. The page’s creator Lee Perkins, who goes by the moniker “Bayou Lee,” immediately created a new page, calling it Boycott bp/Arco. Bayou Lee wrote:
I can’t believe they shut us down with no explanation. I could not even say goodbye to my friends. We must have been doing something right.
Bayou Lee’s page was the largest of many Facebook campaigns aimed against BP for its role in causing the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The question many people were asking Monday night was whether this was a deliberate effort by Facebook to silence BP’s biggest critic.
Could Public Citizen, which has been calling for people to boycott BP by taking the Beyond BP pledge, find itself in a similar situation with its Facebook page, 1,000,000 Strong to Boycott BP?
On June 14th, we received a warning from Facebook that we would have to “authenticate” our page. To me, it looked like Facebook was trying to shake us down and force us to put their widget on our website. After I filled out their form, I received this email on June 15:
Thank you for providing us with this information regarding your Page, 1,000,000 Strong to Boycott BP. Because you were not able to authenticate your Page by one of the methods previously offered, we are requiring that the name of your Page be elaborated upon to accurately represent the content of the Page.
If you are using your Page primarily as a blog and you do not own the domain that’s related to your Page, we will need to add a byline for you. For example, if the name of your Page were “Food” but you did not own “www.food.com,” we would need to add “By Firstname Lastname” to the Page’s title in order to authenticate it. Please note that only full names will be accepted and initials will not be allowed.
If your Page is for a business, we will need to change the name of your Page to more accurately reflect your business. For example, a Page titled “New York” affiliated and administrated by “www.iloveny.com” would need to be corrected to either “Iloveny.com” or “New York by Iloveny.com.”
Once we have received your preferred Page name alternative, we will be able to assist you further. If you do not contact us within three weeks, your Page’s publishing rights will be blocked and any custom URL that may be associated with your Page will be removed. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,Fred User Operations Facebook
It seems this is part of Facebook’s attempt to crack down on “fake” fan pages.
While we’re not sure if Bayou Lee received the same series of letters, we’re bracing ourselves for Facebook’s next move.
It will be interesting to see if Facebook responds and gives a reason for taking down Bayou Lee’s page, especially if his page was targeted for using the trademarked name “BP.”
June 29, 2010 @ 12:50 am
I have boycott bp sticker on my car. Is BP going to come after my vehicle too? this is nonsense. What were we supposed to call them? That company that murdered the Gulf?
June 29, 2010 @ 1:32 am
what ever happen to FREEDOM OF SPEECH??!! i think the execs of facebook must be in BP’s pocket or have stock in BP or something. It is incredible to me that they would cave in to BP’s strong armed techniques!! SHAME ON FACEBOOK!!
June 29, 2010 @ 2:03 am
I think a better statement than having a bumper sticker on your car would be not to drive that car. Just sayin’.
Is Facebook trying to silence the BP Boycott? (via ) « Brent Crude @ 6 Love
June 29, 2010 @ 3:56 am
[…] Is Facebook trying to silence the BP Boycott? (via ) by Brent Crude on June 29, 2010 A few hours ago, Facebook censors removed the Boycott BP fan page, which had almost 800,000 members. It's unclear why Facebook took the boycott page down. The page's creator Lee Perkins, who goes by the moniker "Bayou Lee," immediately created a new page, calling it Boycott bp/Arco. Bayou Lee wrote: I can't believe they shut us down with no explanation. I could not even say goodbye to my friends. We must have been doing something right. Bayou Lee … Read More […]
June 29, 2010 @ 4:47 am
Chances of Oil Spill being sabotage
June 29, 2010 @ 4:59 am
yeah, or “the region formerly known as the gulf”…
June 29, 2010 @ 6:07 am
The above mentioned Boycott BP group on Facebook has just been restored!!!
Just how long it will be left up this time is anybody’s guess…
June 29, 2010 @ 7:05 am
I guess Fasebook doesn’t want to be boycotted by their user’s
June 29, 2010 @ 7:29 am
I received the following message when I tried to set up a Facebook page:
Our automated system will not approve the name “BP Executives should voluntarily suspend their salaries until the Gulf is cleaned up” because it contains a word or phrase that is blocked to prevent the creation of unofficial or otherwise prohibited Pages. If you believe this is an error, please contact our Customer Support team.
June 29, 2010 @ 8:05 am
I am an admin on another Boycott BP page and we too got the “authentication request”. Our page has the flaming finger on the icon and has been in danger of being shut down for weeks. We believe it is the issue of copyright infringement, but then again, since the creation of the page we have managed to accumulate over 15000 members in a little over one month.
June 29, 2010 @ 8:20 am
Please Help me!
Donde | Facebook elimina BOYCOTT BP y deja tirados 800.000 fans
June 29, 2010 @ 10:59 am
[…] El nuevo grupo abierto por Lee perkins es Boycott-bpARCO Fuentes: CNN iReport y Citizenvox. […]
June 29, 2010 @ 4:45 pm
I left facebook for this reason. I no longer trust them. Facebook is in BP’s pocket.
June 29, 2010 @ 10:20 pm
i strongly believe BP is taking measures against Facebook, wanting to remove everything BP related as there is a so called infringement on their name (which is probably copyrighted)
Imagine you are Facebook and get a bunch of letters by lawyers urging you to take measures against copyright infringements or otherwise they’ll try to take your service down.
Fot BP it is the easiest way to get rid of the 1000000+ Pages against them. They are paying enough for the lawyers anyway these days…
We all know they’d do a much better job hiring some decent damage controllers (using new media)
But well, they’re not trying to do so many things…
Imho, Facebook should clearly state this on their blogpages. Just indicating why they are requesting the verification. It would explain alot.
If fanpages are not allowed, I guess we all should change our avatar into something ‘against’ facebook.
That way, FB needs to check all avatars, or shut it’s service down. And that would be great anti-news ‘FB shut down by BP’ 😉
June 29, 2010 @ 10:25 pm
I just meant: If fanpages are not allowed, I guess we all should change our avatar into something ‘against’ BP.
August 17, 2010 @ 9:42 am
Whatever happened to “free speech?”
Facebook owes 700,000 users better explanation on decision to take Boycott BP fan page down « CitizenVox
December 25, 2010 @ 3:36 am
[…] mysterious disappearance of the Boycott BP fan page from Facebook last night was, apparently, a mistake caused by Facebook’s automated system, or […]