Yesterday, I received an email from Facebook entitled, “Facebook Warning.” It read:
A review you posted has been removed. Reviews must follow the Facebook Community Standards and focus on the core product or service offered by the Page. Reviews that don’t follow these guidelines may be removed. Please keep in mind that people who repeatedly post content that doesn’t follow our guidelines may lose access to their accounts.
The Facebook Team”
At first, I was puzzled, especially puzzled because I don’t have a Facebook account. Then, I remembered how I “borrowed” Melinda’s Facebook account so I could leave a review on the Empire State Building’s page a couple of weeks ago. I wrote about how Melinda and I had celebrated her five year anniversary from her diagnosis there. (Does this qualify as a “focus on the core product or service”?) Then, I questioned why they decided not to light gold, asked them to reconsider, and gave them a 1 star rating.
I don’t think the Empire State Building owners like those one star ratings.
Was removing my review censorship?
Moreover, was Facebook’s removal of over 6,000 1 star ratings on the Empire State Building’s Facebook Review Page censorship?
The following update and photos are shared from Empire Go Gold Official Facebook Page:
“Since our post on August 28th showing the drop in The Empire State Building‘s rating on their Facebook page, OVER 6,000 ONE-STAR RATINGS have been deleted from their page. We’re also hearing of 5-star ratings being deleted if they mention anything about #GoGold in them. Those that posted reviews have received a message from Facebook saying their review doesn’t meet their rating standards. In addition, if the user continues to post, their account will be shut down. Is this censorship?” #EmpireGoGold
‘I have been blocked from all activity on that page for some reason.’
Gotta love Tony’s sense of humor on that one!
What is particularly disturbing is that Facebook has “taken sides.” What are review pages for? If a “business” does not like their reviews, they get to cry foul and then have the honest, negative posts removed? I am more than puzzled now; I am mind-boggled.
The entire #EmpireGoGold scenario has become rotten. It stinks. It stinks of censorship. It stinks of greed. There are more and more posts from childhood cancer advocates who want nothing to do with the Empire State Building ever again. It seems from reading the current posts on the Empire State Building Facebook Review Page that it is not just those who have been sucked into the world of childhood cancer who feel like this, but the general public as well.
“Sad yall are deleting and reporting people’s ratings to save your 5 star reputation on here I know this will be reported and removed as my last post was glad to see yall are so patriotic tht yall silence everyone’s right to free speech because yall are to sorry to turn a light switch on and join the rest of the world” #empiregogold Jesse Morton
“Don’t waste your time. Go to the Freedom Tower (1 Word Trade Center) better views, nicer people, history, lots more to do in the area.” Laura Gottlieb
“Keeping with policy I will focus on the building itself. Overpriced admission to observatory. The gift shop once again is over priced and sells items you can find in a gift shop at street level for a fraction of the cost. The building smells. The staff crams you in the elevator like sardines. We won’t ever be going back. It’s an OK view but certainly not worth the cost of entrance and hassle with the staff who are not very pleasant.” Brad Johnson
“A poorly run landmark that I used to have high regard for years ago. Crowded, unpleasant staff and horribly overpriced. Check out Top of the Rock instead. Less crowded and frankly a more beautiful view.” Alaric Hahn
“I am not a foundation, I do not have a child with cancer. Yet I am so saddened that you won’t rise above and go gold this month for childhood cancer. You had a lot of requests from not one foundation, but many. You posted a statement stating you were not going to be bullied and dug your feet it. It is not about being bullied, or having adults angry at you. It about the Children with cancer. Children who might not be here next year to see if you go gold next year.
Please, please take the high road, head up shoulders and do the right thing for the children. Please Go Gold…” Christine Greig
And then… this gem of a review:
The ESB should stop wasting so much energy deleting posts and start dealing with this like adults. Your initial response, which took weeks to develp, was innacurate and was retracted. I think its’s time that a human representative from the Empire State Building steps up and speaks out on this issue. For now, the wizards behind the curtain at esb continue to look like cowards. Colleen Bogle
Gosh, I wonder if there is a “human representative” from ESB?
Would you like to post your very own review?
What sickens me most about all of this is the silencing of people who are voices for children with cancer.
Newsflash! Childhood cancer advocates will happily trade in their Facebook accounts if it means saving children’s lives.
You can take away our “microphone,” but you cannot keep our voices silent.
Guest Blogger: Lee Marchiano