A group of nearly a thousand of Facebook’s top page owners are attempting to put a halt to the site’s increasing censorship.
“I have lost 4.3 million likes on one of my pages with a reach of over 183 million daily, and was gaining approximately 15,000 fans weekly,” claimed page owner Jason Karpowich, who has allegedly lost around four other pages with 1 million likes each, and around 50 with between 100,000 and 500,000 likes. “Overall, with all of the Facebook page purges, I lost around 12 million fans and with the loss of these pages a few families have lost their income due to these unjust Facebook purges/unpublishings.”
“We have been trying to contact Facebook for months to no avail,” he continued. “The only response you get is from a bot and auto response, so we formed a group called #PowerToThePages to get the Facebook page owners together.”
Social media entrepreneur and WTF Magazine owner Jason M. Fyk, who is also a part of the #PowerToThePages group, told Breitbart Tech that Facebook’s purge of pages meant that he had to let go of his former employees and rethink his business steps after they reduced his traffic substantially. He was even sanctioned by the site for posting a picture of Family Guy cartoon star Peter Griffin dancing while holding his digital man-boobs.
“Facebook literally saved my life. I wouldn’t be where I am right now in life and for that I thank Mark Zuckerberg directly, but don’t take away freedom of thought and expression,” said Fyk, who used to reportedly make around $275,000 a month from his Facebook page business. “Facebook has become something far more than just a business. People’s lives are effected by it. It supports single parents and gives some people outlets to express who they are. You’re hurting family’s both those that post and those that view our content. Please reconsider your stance on content because Facebook is important to all of us.”
Like the meme page revolt earlier this year, which included some of Facebook’s largest meme pages, #PowerToThePages seeks to raise awareness of the censorship that is currently taking place on the platform.
“For an extended period of time Facebook has taken it upon themselves to harass page owners by unpublishing pages for vague reasons, the most common being spam or unauthorized commercial communications,” states Karpowich in an online petition to Facebook, which has been signed by over 2,200 people. “This happens to pages of all kinds, ones with pictures that have text, ones with pictures that don’t have text, pages that cater to women, pages that cater to country living, pages that cater to men, all kinds of pages.”
There’s sometimes an option to appeal but never an option to speak to an actual person, it’s always a computer generated response. We have no way to find out exactly what we are doing incorrectly nor are we given the chance to correct it.
We understand that pages will not cater to everyone, that just simply isn’t possible. Nor should we be liable to do so, this is not required by any other social media outlet.
In a 3-week span over 300 pages have been unpublished with the same generic reason with a compiled fan base of over 24 million fans, so in fact Facebook itself has taken an outlet from 24 million users without warning and without proper reasoning and not even an actual person to talk to in order to try and fix the issue. Pages are made to bring people with the same likes or dislikes, hobbies, beliefs, issues, or interests in mind. Because pages are public someone who doesn’t share the same interest can come onto a page and complain simply because they are hateful or a bigot, and us as page owners are at their mercy. We have no control over people who may not like country living coming on a country page and reporting a picture of a log cabin with an antler and complaining of animal exploitation. Or an angry man who doesn’t like women who empowerment complaining on a women’s rights page.
Facebook is meant to bring people together and fan pages are an intricate part of the Facebook experience, as page owners we watch what our fans like and interact with our fans to find the best content for them, we comment and even answer personal questions in our inboxes. Some pages are support systems for families of children with special needs, or mothers who just need to vent after a long day of screaming kids and have a good laugh. When you take that away from the billions of users on Facebook because of a few people who cannot scroll past what they like it turns Facebook into a dictatorship, and people will go elsewhere to have their voices heard.
How can page owners properly communicate this with Facebook when we cannot even speak to a live person at any time? How do we make Facebook remain the best place to bring people together if all of the creative outlets for all of its users are being shut down?
We would like to form a PAGES OWNERS committee and have a Facebook representative we can contact to discuss are concerns and issues. Instead of a Computer generated response.
“We put our heart and souls into our pages, worked tireless hours creating and engaging in our fans,” said Debbie Beutel, a page owner who has lost various fan and comedy pages on the platform. “Facebook started by limiting our posts to fans dramatically. Some posts only getting to less than 10% of our fan base. Then to have all of our hard work ripped from our fingers is a tough pill to swallow, especially seeing as most of the pages followed terms of service.”
“With my page, for the past 4 years I have helped families for Christmas,” she continued. “I have gotten donations from fans and been able to help up to four families buy Christmas presents. Many other pages did the same thing, Fans have told me how much that always meant to them, and now it is gone… I know four families is not much, but it was something…”
Even a page which aimed to support step-parents and step-children who may have been traumatized from divorce was removed, with a second page being formed shortly after the first was taken down.
“My page has helped thousands of blended families come together to realize that they need to get along for the benefit of the children. The children are the one that matters. They are the ones, for the most part, hurt the most,” declared the page owner, who wanted to remain anonymous. “Step parents deal with all kinds of negativity from the birth parents, especially if you are a stepmother. My page has helped step children from committing suicide, step parents from committing suicide, birth parents from committing suicide.”
Devin Shire, a Facebook page owner and member of the meme page revolt earlier this year, was sanctioned on the social network after posting a comedy picture of rapper Drake morphed into a Nintendo 64 controller.
“Originally we only had my page Young Thugga La Meme, Everything Is A Social Construct, another page I admin Chair Memes, Digiannantonio Aesthetic, and Kevin 3 I believe, then we went reaching out to everybody we knew who had pages and had them reach out to every other page admin they knew,” said Shire in August on the topic of the revolt. “It was not easy trying to talk some pages into being apart of this because a lot of them feared the backlash they might receive from Facebook for trying to stand up for this issue.”
Like the #PowerToThePages movement, Shire’s revolt included many different affected page owners and garnered support from top content creators, such as “POLANDBALL,” which has over 330,000 likes, “I play KORN to my DMT plants, smoke blunts all day & do sex stuff,” which has over 125,000 likes, and “I’m sad and I listen to Loveless every night,” which has nearly 60,000 likes.