According to MSNBC, Facebook has apologized “and is changing automated systems that blocked environmental activists and other people from posting on like-minded Facebook pages.”
Last week, in an article titled “Spam It! Facebook Wants to Stop Saving Lives,” we reported that the steps Facebook was taking to eliminate spam were actually costing lives of shelter animals. Facebook was suspending the accounts of people suspected of spamming who were cross-posting information about animals available for adoption and in immediate danger “of being murdered (aka ‘euthanized,’ ‘put to sleep,’ ‘slaughtered’).” People were suspended for 15 days; considering the number of animals in shelters, that equates to a lot of lives.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes, in a statement to The Associate Press, said “…we want Facebook to be a place where people can openly express their views and opinions, even if others don’t agree with them.” He went on to explain that with over ten billion actions and pieces of content per day, “we do sometimes make mistakes.”
Facebook has become a vital tool for those who need to get the word out about emergency situations as quickly as possible, and has served many organizations as an important communications venue. These organizations rely on Facebook’s promise to fix algorhythms so they can continue to reach people who are interested in making a difference.