Facebook shuts down Black Lives Matter page for about 12 hours

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Black Lives Matter Minneapolis says its Facebook page was deactivated and unpublished over its posts about a Minnesota police officer.

The group first posted about it on Twitter shortly after midnight Tuesday.

https://twitter.com/BlackLivesMpls/status/691868134907756544

The message – a screenshot of which was taken by Black Lives Matter – says the page "doesn't follow the Facebook Terms and Community Standards," so it was unpublished.

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis says it's because of the group's posts regarding St. Paul Police Officer Jeff Rothecker. That's the cop who last week apologized publicly for his own Facebook comments (under an account called "JM Roth") that encouraged people to run over Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

He was placed on administrative leave, and the St. Paul Police Department and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman both put out statements condemning Rothecker's comment.

After its page was unpublished, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis started using hashtags such as #WhoseSide on Twitter, asking whether Facebook was supporting that officer's actions or Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. That and #silencedbyFB were trending in Minneapolis Tuesday.

Shortly before 1 p.m., the group tweeted an email from Facebook, saying their appeal was reviewed and the page made live again.

https://twitter.com/BlackLivesMpls/status/692058235042295808

In a statement sent to the Star Tribune, Facebook called the page's unpublishing a "mistake."

Facebook pages getting taken down

There have been a few recent, similar reports regarding Facebook pages.

In November, the Facebook page of the British First group – which has more than 1 million likes – was unpublished for violating the social media network's hate speech rules, the International Business Times reports. It was reinstated a short time later however.

It also happened to a page that questioned protests at Missouri University last fall, a page for a protest group in California's Bay Area last January, and dozens of profiles tied to 2011 anti-austerity protest organizers in the United Kingdom.

Facebook lists things such as encouraging respectful behavior and protecting intellectual property as part of its standards, but does note "something that may be disagreeable or disturbing to you may not violate" those rules.

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