Not even Roger Ebert is safe from Facebook. The movie critic’s Facebook page was taken down following comments he made via Twitter about Jackass star Ryan Dunn’s car crash on Monday.
The page was taken down on Tuesday morning, and was restored within the hour. But the incident demonstrates how easy it is for a Facebook page to get shut down for just about any reason, without warning.
Ebert tweeted, “Facebook has removed my page in response, apparently, to malicious complaints from one or two jerks. He then tweeted, “Facebook! My page is harmless and an asset to you. Why did you remove it in response to anonymous jerks? Makes you look bad.”
After Dunn’s death, Ebert criticized the star for driving drunk, tweeting, “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.” The remark spurred a backlash from many people, possibly resulting in the Facebook page shutdown.
Ebert has had issues with Facebook before: The page has been taken down before by other people disagreeing with the critic. Facebook also removed a blog post of Ebert’s where he detailed his jaw surgery, on the grounds that it was “abusive content.” Ebert said it had been “idiotically blocked.”
It seems possible that Facebook took the page down automatically without human review, considering Ebert’s considerable public stature. It wouldn’t be the first time Facebook has shut down legitimate pages based on illegitimate complaints, though for less famous victims, the restoration process has proved to be far more difficult.
Facebook told the Huffington Post: “The page was was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Posted in: Misc.– June 21, 2011