Facebook is no stranger to dealing with controversy over its decision-making process when it comes to blocking content. However, the site faced a particularly loud barrage of complaints this week when it took down more than 20 Catholic-focused pages with millions of followers for over a day.
The social media giant eventually restored the pages and apologized, blaming a technical error for the issue.
“All pages have now been restored. This incident was triggered accidentally by a spam detection tool. We sincerely apologize for the issue this has caused,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
However, some of the affected page owners weren’t necessarily buying the site’s story.
“If it was a random glitch, we would have seen possibly thousands of pages affected, most of which would have been non-Catholic,” the editors of a site called ChurchPOP said. “And yet, so far we’re only aware of Catholic pages that were affected.”
Of course, it’s possible that Facebook’s spam detection system accidentally flagged Catholic terminology for removal. The fact that it happened all of a sudden to Catholic pages all around the world is interesting, though — why did these pages all become troublesome simultaneously? No matter the cause of the removal error, it’s just the latest example of Facebook’s often-confusing set of content censorship policies.