Rocky Wood, HWA President, posted about something so ridiculous, I initially thought it was an Onion article. It seems that Facebook has removed his page for a Bram Stoker® nominated graphic novel he wrote with Lisa Morton (illustrated by Greg Chapman). Why? Because it appears having the word “burn” in the title means that book is about bullying.
J.G. Faherty’s excellent novel, “The Burning Time”, suffered the same fate. He knows of one more person in the same boat.
I can understand Facebook trying to get rid of pages that bully folks, particularly after several high-profile bullying events led to the deaths of schoolkids. Waving a magic wand and randomly selecting words out of a dictionary will not accomplish that goal. I have no idea why the word “burn” or any variants is related to bullying, particularly for books published by recognized authors.
Facebook has yet again shot itself in the kneecap to get rid of a gnat. Now they will have to address censoring books because their QA programming code department just allowed at least three epic Facebook fails to get through to the live website.
The initial story is available here: http://www.teleread.com/social-media/facebook-gets-into-the-witch-hunt-game/
Just for clarity, Peter and I have a graphic novel competing against Rocky and Lisa’s entry. If the programmer that selected the word “burn” threw a dart that hit the word “eyes” instead, I would be in Rocky’s shoes. Definitely not an enviable position. Hopefully Facebook will hire some humans to staff their “appeals process” and they’ll return all of the book pages to active status, where they belong.
The ironic thing is, since there is no real appeal process, Facebook is turning out to be the bully here.
Yup, Epic Facebook Fails count +1.