Gay military group’s Facebook page back after fear it ‘infringed own rights’

Stephen Gray January 12, 2012
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The Facebook page of the US military’s gay support group OutServe has been briefly suspended and reinstated after a user reportedly claimed it was infringing its own rights.

The social network suspended OutServe’s page after an individual posing as the group’s legal representative said the page, with over 11,000 fans, was not authorised.

AMERICAblog said a fake name and email address were used to tell Facebook the page was infringing its own rights.

OutServe is a network for actively-serving LGBT military personnel, launched after the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. Since its launch in 2012, it has attracted over 4,500 members and 45 chapters worldwide.

Initially, Facebook told OutServe they would need to contact the fake complainant in order for them to resolve the issue, but after the blog’s report, the page was reinstated.

Blogger John Aravosis wrote that Facebook needed to establish better processes, saying: “This is starting to reek of an anti-gay action by the fake complainant, and we can’t have Facebook setting up a precedent where they pull down the pages of legitimate gay groups every time a homophobe makes up a lie.”

The social network has been questioned for the speed at which it removes content that does not actually break its rules.

A photo of a kiss between two male Eastenders characters was taken down after a complaint last year, but Facebook later agreed it did “not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and was removed in error. We apologise for the inconvenience.”

After a homophobic Facebook group, The New Anti-Gay Movement was removed last year, Facebook also had to take down a group called ‘im a women LOL JK i’m the guard from poundland’ [sic], which mocked a transgender security guard.

In 2010, a British Airways pilot was suspended for referring to cabin crew as “bum boys” on the social networking site.

More: Americas, british airways pilot, eastenders characters, gay support group, john aravosis, social networking site, US

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