Facebook is Censoring Me

I first noticed it May 10th. I made a post on my blog and, as I always do, shot the link out to twitter and posted it for my small group of friends and family on Facebook. I posted the link using the Facebook iPhone app and it instantly appeared in my newsfeed. I then swiped down to refresh the feed and the post disappeared.

Thinking it was a fluke, I waited a few minutes and refreshed the feed again. Still not there. I navigated to my personal timeline, refreshed that feed, and the the link status update showed up correctly. This was proof that Facebook successfully received my latest post, but when I jumped back to the newsfeed there was still nothing.

I figured it was a fluke and didn’t worry about it too much.

The next day, May 11, I made two non-link status updates. They showed up on newsfeeds successfully garnering a few likes and comments.

On the 13th, I posted another link. This time the link pointed to Aereo rather than my blog. Once again, showed up in my timeline but not in my newsfeed. I had a few close friends (people who are either subscribed to all my posts or usually see all my posts in their newsfeeds) verify that this post was not on their newsfeeds either.

Between May 13th and today, May 17th, I have made four link posts (to three different domains) and three non-link status updates from both my mobile decice as well as my desktop computer. Every single link has been censored from mine and my friend’s newsfeeds.

I searched Google for people experiencing similar issues and found nothing. I sent Facebook a report of the issue on the 14th of May and received a generic reply a day later:

Thanks for taking the time to report this to us. We’re sorry to hear you’re experiencing an issue using Facebook. While we aren’t responding to every report, we may reach out to you for more information as we investigate this.

I have heard nothing since.

I’m not sure if my link posts have been somehow flagged as spam or if there is some other issue at play. Can status updates such as these even be flagged as spam? I’m a long time active Facebook user with a closed tight-knit community of friends. None of my posts or personal information is public, my privacy settings are tight, and all of my Facebook friends voluntary. There is no reason why any of my posts should be censored.

I use Facebook as a way to share my life and my blog with my friends, many of whom don’t use RSS readers, don’t keep up with blogs, and don’t follow me on Twitter. If anyone doesn’t want to see my links, they’re welcome to show “only important” updates from me.

It is NOT Facebook’s place to censor me.

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  1. Miike says:

    I posted a comment this morning that referenced “Verizon” but not in any commercial way (the message was about how my phone broke, and I was on vacation away from any Verizon store, so I wouldn’t be getting texts). I noticed the message didn’t appear on my news feed. Nor was it on my daughter’s news feed. So I reposted the identical message but without the Verizon reference, and the news feed picked it up. I then googled the issue and found your page. So I suspect that Facebook must be blocking certain words and phrases from appearing in the news feed.

    • Dann Berg says:

      They’ve got a ton of different algorithms working behind the scenes, with a ton of different agenda’s, I’m sure. They’re not required to keep any of it public, so there’s no way to know for sure, unless you’re the engineer specifically working on each one.

  2. Jon Pretty says:

    You’re not alone, Dann. I’ve noticed that every status update I’ve made in the last month or so is invisible to other users. Whilst I can see all my updates, they get no likes or comments, and close friends have confirmed that they can’t see them.

    Other information (such as Foursquare checkins and Spotify updates) is visible, but nothing else. I generally post reasonably infrequently (maybe a couple of times a week) from web or mobile, and I’ve not said anything offensive or potentially libellous.

    I am still able to post comments on other people’s updates, and I can post on friends’ walls. But at no point have I ever had any indication from Facebook that my status updates would be blocked, and it seems very arbitrary; not unlike what you’ve been experiencing.

    Thanks for bringing this to people’s attention – I hope we can get to the bottom of what’s going on!

  3. casey cope says:

    I am experiencing the same thing

  4. Vlad D says:

    totally encountered the same issue (aug 5th 2013). but as i posted it, a $6.99 option popped up to move it up in my own friends feeds!! I guess ad selling isn’t profitable enough. I checked with a few people directly, including very close ones, no one saw my status update. I was announcing a kickstarter campaign – that may have sealed my fate.

  5. Andrews says:

    I was censored for directly quoting Thomas Jefferson on government tyranny

  6. Frank Goodman, Sr. says:

    Dan I, too, am often censored on the News Feed, Close Friends and Family. I attribute most to some of my family who are on both and may censor some of it, but today I wrote a comment and specified Close Friends. It was censored with a note that it could not be published at all. No excuse was offered and no way to find out. Long ago I wrote on Truthdig for a while and had many good conversations going. I found some friends around the world. One time a writer began to write vulgar and abusive comments to mine and I responded with mild comments to object with no profanity or objectionable words or phrases. The other writer wrote grossly despicable phrases about deviate sexuality mocking my objections. Truthdig banned me and a few others who were victims of the same thing, but not the one who wrote the vulgar abusive profanity laced comments to mine. I can access Truthdig and read in it, but cannot post any comments. My attempts to contact Truthdig produced only one response that mine were not acceptable. Mine contained no insulting or open profanity. Truthdig to this day contains the full range of profanity and grossly abusive language from some writers. I am still blocked after 15 years. Go figure.

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