Facebook leak reveals ‘silent epidemic’ of deleted posts

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mark Zuckerberg has been working on a controversial proposal to allow outside companies to publish Stories The volume of Facebook blocked posts coming back online is becoming a…

Facebook leak reveals 'silent epidemic' of deleted posts

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mark Zuckerberg has been working on a controversial proposal to allow outside companies to publish Stories

The volume of Facebook blocked posts coming back online is becoming a “silent epidemic”, according to internal documentation about the social network that has been leaked.

The Sun obtained the pages of the 11-page document, obtained by Brian Krebs of The Washington Post.

They suggest hundreds of posts can be removed within minutes.

But posts are returned if someone claims they were asked to leave the social network.

According to the document, one post by the US President, Donald Trump, was removed 73 times in the US before being restored.

‘Silent epidemic’

The social network claims Facebook is able to permanently ban user posts under its Community Standards, which state that “if someone flags a content as inappropriate they are entitled to have it removed”.

But in the document, Facebook appears to show that the community standards could be tightened so that these “removeable posts” can be removed as often as “30 to 60 times per week for most people”.

A page called ‘Retire Me Facebook’ was also written about in the document

Mr Krebs said this suggested “Facebook was setting a precedent of being vigilant and progressive about policing its platform, even at the cost of leaving posts open”.

The document also says Facebook will sometimes remove “a pwned [sic] cat, a promoted selfie or even a re-posted comment” in the US for “simply having the words retold, when this was not the original author’s intent”.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption When asked about the incident, Facebook responded by saying the same had happened to a teacher

A similar example was reported by the New York Times as being directed at a user that used the phrase “Poke me again”. In that case, the company deleted the comment twice, only to return it once the original poster had emailed Facebook to point out the error.

In response to the leak, a Facebook spokesman told the BBC that such problems “occur a few times per week depending on how many times you have commented on a Page”.

He added: “There is no rule or guideline that says people should never be allowed to make a mistake. Only you can determine if something should or should not be permanently removed, or put back up.”

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