Probably the most often expressed complaint about Facebook is that posts are moved without warning and, in many cases without any discernible reason. This is because Facebook has taken the easy way out using the logic that if a post might present a problem for Facebook or some of its users, get rid of it automatically and deal with the complaints later, or more accurately, not at all. This policy is probably financially driven – why pay someone to first check a post for spam or abuse of Facebook Community Standards when you can instead use software to simply remove it.
I have learned that there are at least two reasons why a post might be deleted by Facebook. 1) Someone reported as not meeting FB’s community standards or as spam. 2) You have posted the same link in multiple places too quickly and Facebook software automatically treats it as spam. In either case the removal can be contested, often successfully.
When some other user reports a post, it is automatically deleted. This is a popular way for trolls to get rid of any post, especially political posts, that they don’t like. However, keep in mind that your post may also have legitimately offended someone. Whether or not a particular post breaks Facebook community standards or not is another matter entirely.
Facebook also has software that detects when a user posts the same link in multiple places quickly. The software automatically assumes that the link is spam and removes it in every place is posted. This software is mindless and often labels perfectly good posts as spam. No one seems to know what level of activity triggers the activation of this software.
If you want to challenge the removal of a post, click on the notification sent to you that the post was removed – it usually reads something like, “We have removed this post because….”. This will bring up your “Support Mailbox” in Facebook. There you can choose from two options, “This isn’t spam” and “I didn’t post this”. Chose and click on ”This isn’t spam” and then “Continue”. You will then get a message stating “You told us that your post wasn’t spam”. This message indicates that you have successfully challenged the removal of your post. Below that message will be a another message with “Next steps”. If you want to leave feedback click the line “read more” below. There you can click on one of the emojis you will see there which you can use to indicate your level of “satisfaction” with the process. (I always use the face with a frond on it.) Clicking on one of the emojis will give you a line where you can leave your feedback.
It will take a day or two or maybe even longer for a Facebook employee to check your post manually. If that person finds that the post does not run counter to Facebook community standards it will be restored. (I have found that by then the poste is often stale.) You can check on the status by again clicking on the notification sent to you that the post was removed. This will bring you back to your Support Mailbox where Facebook will provide a canned “apology” if your post has been restored.
If you think that Facebook is using a stupid process to remove posts that might be offensive or spam, you are certainly not alone. Complain and raise hell! It will take a revolt of many users to get the attention of Facebook’s management. If there is enough demand I will provide another article with directions on how to use Facebook’s complaint procedure.