The amount of control Facebook has over its users is a big source of contention for many. The site can ban its users from posting or sharing at a drop of a hat, often with absolutely no explanation.
Espen Egil Hansen, editor of Aftenposten, Norway’s biggest newspaper, recently wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg after Aftenposten’s Facebook page was forced to remove one of the most famous photos from the Vietnam war. Nick Ut’s iconic image has been widely credited with helping to turn the tide of public opinion against the war, and yet Zuckerberg and his team deemed it unsuitable for Facebook.
It’s clear that Facebook’s algorithms don’t work. This simple fact was made even more obvious recently, when one user’s seemingly innocuous photo of a cat in a suit caused his entire account to be shut down.
Blogger Varun Krishnan’s account was shut down after he shared the following photo with his friends on Facebook. He told Mashable:
“I was chatting with friends, got one cat image on WhatsApp, it was so cute that I sent it to a friend. Before I realised, my devices were getting logged off. Even on PC, Messenger notified me that my Facebook account has been disabled. My photos, my Facebook Ads account, they wiped my presence off Facebook in a matter of seconds for a cat photo.”
Others have reported sharing the same photo and getting the same result. Nevertheless, in a statement to Varun’s technology blog, FoneArena, Facebook said: “Our team found this was a mistake & have restored your account. We’re sorry for the trouble this caused you.”
This article originally appeared on Viral Thread.