Facebook has left BTLP alone for quite some time. Content removal and proscriptions have been sparse to non-existent this year, despite our growth beyond the 100,000 user mark. However, on Friday morning we both received an official notification informing us that the page is 'at risk of being unpublished' (see screencap below).
The reason given was 'continued community standards violations'. However, as you can see from the notice, our last 'violation' was almost twelve months ago! In fact, on further investigation we were informed that there are no violations affecting the page and are actually thanked for helping to keep the platform 'safe'.
So why then are we suddenly being threatened in this way? Is this a prelude to a Twitter-style sweeping ban of anti-left pages or are we being singled out by some errant moderator in Dublin (Facebook's European HQ)? Either way, this notification was deeply disheartening. Five and a half years of effort have gone into making the page a success and to suddenly have it swept away on blatantly partisan grounds is grossly unfair. Such a move would mean that BTLP would be banned from both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously, as if any more proof was needed of the rampant political bias of social media giants. It is now three months since we were barred from Twitter - while our account can be seen by anyone, it cannot be accessed or updated.
If Facebook deletes our page, we will almost certainly move to the back-up page. However, there is no way in which either of us is prepared to put several more years building up another page only to have it snatched away from us by left-wing moderators. In this scenario we envisage that our focus will shift to YouTube, as well as this blog.
The loss of Facebook would seriously impact our revenue - at a time in which we are already struggling - and the deletion of our shop just prior to Christmas doesn't bear thinking about.
So if you're still in work and can spare a few quid, please do consider a small donation to our cause and rest assured - whatever happens we will not cave in!