Technology

Facebook Unblocks Viz’s Page But Gave No Reasons For Blocking

Facebook has reinstated the official page of comic magazine Viz, which it had blocked. Viz publishes a parody of issues, often with improper language and humor. Earlier, The Guardian reported that foul-mouthed comic Viz’s brand page was blocked by Facebook on Tuesday.

Facebook Viz

Facebook gave no reasons for Viz page blocking

On Wednesday, confirming the reinstatement, Viz posted the update on its Facebook page, “We’re back. They wouldn’t tell us what we did, but we promise not to do it again, whatever it was.”

After being blocked, Viz’s page showed the message: “It looks like the content posted on your Page doesn’t follow the Facebook Terms and Community Standards, so your Page was unpublished. These Terms and Standards help ensure Facebook remains a welcoming, respectful environment.”

According to Ian Westwood, group managing director at Dennis Publishing, which publishes the comic magazine Viz, Facebook did not disclose the content that violated its rules.

“The question is what is, and isn’t acceptable to Facebook,” he said, adding, “We have had that Facebook page for five years. We have had correspondence with them before about stuff they have not liked and we have taken it down.”

Westwood said social media sites have just blocked the page without unveiling what rules they violated. The magazine can appeal, but they don’t know what they would be appealing, the executive said. Viz’s Facebook page has 451,807 “likes.” After the page was blocked, Viz came up with a mock version of a new page which included images of puppies and kittens and asked users if the new page is still offensive.

Zero tolerance approach

Viz’s incident follows an investigation from the BBC, which claimed to have found secret groups on the platform used by pedophiles to swap obscene kids images but that nothing has been done to take them down. Facebook, which has a zero tolerance policy against child exploitation, made no comment on the BBC claims as it was not given “any information on the groups in question.” However, the social network did assure it would investigate and remove such groups once it gets evidence that they are breaking the rules.

In January, the social media site came up with the campaign Online Civil Courage Initiative to fight extremism.

Detailing the campaign, COO Sheryl Sandberg said, “Hate speech has no place in our society- not even on the internet. Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.”