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Facebook takes down the page of a sports journalist from Kropyvnytsky, deleting 8 years worth of professional content

26.12.2022, 15:34
Photo: Oleksandr Vynohradov's new Facebook page
Photo: Oleksandr Vynohradov's new Facebook page

Kropyvnytsky journalist and sports columnist Oleksandr Vynohradov reported that Facebook had taken down his page where he posted unique content about baseball and softball events and competitions featuring Ukrainian clubs and national teams for the past 8 years.

Oleksandr Vynohradov shared this with the IMI representative in Kirovohrad oblast.

According to the journalist, Facebook moderators removed the page, which had over 1,000 followers from Ukraine, European countries, the US, Latin America, and Asia, for violations he did not commit. He also added that Facebook did not even follow its own policies, not giving him an opportunity to appeal the ban.

"On the morning of December 16, I saw an email from Facebook: they said there had been some kind of violation, that the account had been restricted at 00:59, and that I had the right to appeal within 30 days. In the evening of December 16, the account was accessible again. I clicked on the button that said 'I suspect that my account was hacked,' sent them a photo of my passport, selected the option 'Delete activity for the last day.' The only suspicious activity was a friend request that was sent from my account to a user with an Asian surname, which, of course, I did not do," the journalist said.

Vynohradov said that some unfamiliar person had added him as editor of a page he had nothing to do with.

"While the account was available in reading mode, I looked up what the matter was. I saw an irrelevant page in my Business Suite app. I was listed as admin for five pages: one for work, two for hobbies (baseball) and two personal ones. The odd, sixth page, had the name The H Store (location – Phnom Penh, Cambodia). Looking at the page's Activity section, I saw that on December 16, at 00:59, some random user had listed me as editor of this page. The screenshot which I managed to make on the evening of December 16, shows that within 50 minutes, the user added six people as editors. At 00.57, they added me. And in two minutes, my account is somehow flagged as violating Facebook's policies, and Facebook's algorithm automatically bans it," the journalist noted.

According to Vinohradov, in the evening of December 16, there were two posts on "The H Store" page: a photo of a glass of coffee and an ad for a female tank top.

"Facebook accused me of distributing images containing child nudity. There was nothing of the sort coming from my page, or even from the page of the group where I was added as an editor," said the journalist.

As Vinohradov noted, his further attempts to disassociate himself from the strange page were unsuccessful, and his account was restricted for two days. And at 11:06 p.m. on December 16, Facebook completely disabled the account and wrote that the decision was final. No right to appeal.

"I consider Facebook's practice of removing anything without the right to appeal unacceptable. I am ready to appeal, to sue them. Eight years worth of my professional work has been deleted for unclear reasons. This is infuriating," the media person summed up.

As IMI reported, on November 17, Facebook deleted the "Telebachennya Toronto" page for alleged "hate speech" in their video about prominent Ukrainian historian Volodymyr Antonovych. A few days later, the "Telebachennya Toronto" Facebook page was restored.

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