In bizarre news, Facebook appears to be banning users from promoting posts with the word Scunthorpe in it.
It turns out it’s not that the company has any particular beef with Lincolnshire’s third largest settlement – it’s actually to do with the rude word hidden in its midst.
According to The Independent, the problem was stumbled upon by band October Drift as they attempted to post about an upcoming gig on their Facebook page.
Dan Young from the band told The Independent:
As a band we like to promote our shows via Facebook. But Facebook has none of it when trying to boost the posts.
But it’s not just them who have been affected – anyone who attempts to boost posts about the town is being banned by the company’s ‘profanity algorithm’.
Earlier this year, Scunthorpe resident Jon Jarman encountered the same problem when trying to boost a an advertising post that offered: “Same day phone and tablet repairs in Scunthorpe”.
Mr Jarman wrote:
My ad not approved because of the word Scunthorpe? Seriously Facebook, are your algorithms written by 5 year olds?
A member of Facebook’s help team replied, but simply highlighted the company’s appeals process.
It’s fair to say Mr Jarman found the response ‘unhelpful’:
I don’t need to see what is and isn’t approved – there’s nothing wrong with the advert it’s just the fact that word Scunthorpe is in it.
Similar problems have cropped up in other systems so rules that exempt specific words have been added, but for some reason Facebook seems reluctant to deal with the issue.
October Drift said they add a note every time they have to appeal, pointing out that it would be easier if the filter was removed.
But apparently Facebook hasn’t responded and the block continues to be in place.
I wonder if Upper Ramsbottom, Cockermouth, Nob End and Shittington have the same issues…