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Friday, August 16, 2013

News Stories About Gay Marriage Mysteriously Disappear From Facebook

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge Actually, we would have thought someone would be way more offended by this post
  • Actually, we would have thought someone would be way more offended by this post

Newspapers -- including SF Weekly and the Examiner -- have discovered that their stories on gay marriage have been removed from their respective Facebook pages.

Puzzling, isn't it?

It was first spotted by Mercury Online Editor Eileen Faust, who said the newspaper's initial story involving a same-sex couple getting their marriage license and a few videos posted July 24 randomly dropped off the Mercury's Facebook fan page without warning. The Mercury is based in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

She posted the story a few more times, and the same thing happened, according to the newspaper. "The one, it was three times in one hour," she says.

She then made a video of the posts dropping out of sight, and soon other news outlets reported the same issue. What's interesting is the vanishing stories weren't necessarily all in favor of gay marriage. A story on Pennsylvania's Gov. Tom Corbett speaking out against gay marriage also disappeared at least once, according to the newspaper.

Puzzled by the disappearing posts, the newspaper talked to Facebook, which confirmed the company had nothing to do with it. "This content was clearly not in violation of our terms, reinforced by the fact that the page administrators did not receive a notification," Facebook's Alison Schumer told the Mercury.

But the mystery is not yet solved. We put a call in to Facebook to have the company explain what's going on. Schumer simply repeated the above statement, and dodged our questions about how and why gay marriage posts at newspapers across the country are vanishing. She did ask for links to our vanishing posts and said the company would "look into it."

We reached out to Mercury reporter Frank Otto who says he's also getting no answers from Facebook.

"We haven't heard from Facebook since the middle of last week," he said in an e-mail. "Beyond being told that our posts don't violate their policies, there hasn't been any indication of why exactly the links are disappearing. It's frustrating."

We'll update this bizarre story when we get more information from Facebook. In the meantime, you might want to check your Facebook page to see if you, too, are missing some gay marriage posts.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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