Facebook has deleted the page of the popular news and celebrity gossip site The Shade Room, losing 4.4 million followers in the process.
It is still unknown exactly why Facebook made the decision, although NiemanLab reports that it was allegedly for a copyright infringement, with Facebook citing unspecified “IP violations.”
The Shade Room have now also set their Instagram profile to private, meaning new followers must now be accepted by the account in order to view their content.
The move will come as a massive blow to the publisher, with businesses becoming increasingly reliant on the role of Facebook and other social media platforms in order to generate revenue.
“Facebook is a huge driver of our internet traffic,” Angie Nwandu, The Shade Room’s founder, said. “I’m doing everything in my power to get it back up.”
It raises further questions about the worrying influence various private companies have over the media industry.
Bryce Roberts, an investor on the Shade Room commented on Twitter, “All the publishers who say they’d start their next media company as a Facebook page take note…”