'Boycott BP' Facebook Page Deleted--Then Restored: What Happened?

'Boycott BP' Facebook Page Deleted 'In Error,' Facebook Says

See update below

The controversial Facebook page Boycott BP, which calls on individuals to "Boycott BP stations until the spill is cleaned up," mysteriously went down on Monday, with visitors automatically redirected to Facebook's home page without explanation.

The page was back up again by early Tuesday morning, but the incident left its over-700,000-strong membership wondering if Facebook attempted to censor them.

According to its official description, the Boycott BP Facebook group aims to organize a general boycott of BP stations and brands, which the group lists as "Castrol, Arco, Aral, am/pm, Amoco, and Wild Bean Cafe," until the oil spill is cleaned up.

One person, Yadayadatwin, took to CNN iReport to publicize the disappearance of the Boycott BP group.

"This group was created with the intent of sending a clear and strong message to BP and to Washington that what has happened in the Gulf has to stop everywhere," Yadayadatwin wrote. "People from all over the world shared video clips, pictures, and frustration over what has been seen [as an] incredibly slow process to an ever growing economic and environmental disaster. The question is: Why did Facebook suddenly take down the site? "

Desmond Perkins (aka Bayou Lee), the creator of the Facebook group, tweeted late Monday that his "Facebook account was closed," adding, "boycott bp page was shut down."

He established a new Facebook page (Boycott bp/ARCO) while the original was down. His first post on the new protest page read,

Boycott bp/ARCO I can't believe they shut us down with no explanation. I could not even say goodbye to my friends. We must have been doing something right. Calling the media now. bayoulee.com is up and running. ty Bayou Lee

Today, Lee's original Boycott BP page was restored, but he wrote on his website that he has not yet heard an explanation or apology from Facebook:

FaceBook has restored the group Boycott-BP. I am still trying to get an explanation from FaceBook as to why the group was removed and will post any information I get. The PR people, at BP and now FaceBook, are getting a workout these days trying to cover bad press.

I am still working with my Webmaster to add blog capabilities. Keep checking back.

UPDATE: Facebook provided TechCrunch with a statement on the removal of the Boycott BP page, citing a systems "error."

Facebook wrote,

The admin profile of the Boycott BP Page was disabled by our automated systems therefore removing all the content that had been created by the profile. After a manual review we determined the profile was removed in error and it has now been restored along with the Page.

See Diane Sawyer's interview with Perkins in the video below.


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