Facebook apologises to charity for wrongly blocking its posts

The social media platform says Money4YOU's domain was incorrectly identified as spam after the charity changed its name

A charity that found itself banned from Facebook has received an apology from the social media company after it incorrectly labeled the charity's online posts as spam.

Money4YOU was founded in 2014 with the aim of tackling inequality by providing financial education, capacity-building and entrepreneurship support to BAME-led nonprofit?organisations.

In April 2020, the charity changed its name from Money4Youth to Money4YOU to reflect what is described as the widened scope of its activities.

The charity first realised Facebook had blocked?its domain name money4you.org, and its previous website domain, in about August last year.

This meant it was unable to post new adverts and users were unable to share its posts on both Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. This left the charity unable to fundraise online, share resources and communicate with beneficiaries.

Facebook said the charity’s URL violated its community guidelines on spam, but was unable to specify which part of its policy it had breached following a discussion with Facebook’s business support, the charity said.

Facebook has since issued an apology after admitting the account was restricted in error. The account has since been restored.

Facebook said a previous organisation, not affiliated with the charity, was using the domain money4you.org in 2017, and had been blocked for violating its guidelines.

As a result, when the charity changed its name and subsequently its website, the domain was already banned.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “I can confirm that, miraculously, the ban appears to have now been lifted.

“I would also like to point out, though, that we’ve had no communication from Facebook about this whatsoever.

“Facebook’s unexplained ban on our website has had real financial costs across several areas of our organisation and we expect to be dealing with those costs for several months to come.

“Facebook’s failure to provide any guidance on how we can correct the source of the ban shows a worrying lack of regard for small organisations like ours, which rely on digital and social media to reach out both our supporters and to those we support, particularly during the pandemic.”

A Facebook spokesperson said: “Charities are an important part of our community and we have resolved the issue brought to our attention. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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