Pictures of cats are one of the most commonly shared — and harmless — staples of Facebook and other social media sites. However, a weird glitch recently led to the banning of Facebook accounts for many users who shared an innocent picture of a cat wearing a suit and tie.
One of the users affected by the glitch, Varun Krish, was chatting with friends in Facebook Messenger when he sent the goofy image via the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp. However, after he sent it, Messenger “automatically” logged him out and his Facebook app said that his session was timed out. When he tried to log back in again, he found that his entire profile was gone.
“Facebook suddenly disabled my account after I sent a photo of a cat on messenger to a friend after receiving it on WhatsApp,” Krish wrote. “That sounds really ridiculous, right? Cat photos are really 90% of the Internet and why on earth was my Facebook account disabled for sending this over Messenger, not even posting it on my timeline?”
As of this week, Facebook has restored all of the affected accounts, but the site hasn’t said what about the picture triggered such a severe reaction. We’ll probably never know, but it’s just another example of Facebook’s often-confusing censorship policies.