Facebook has been forced to apologise to BAME financial education and support charity Money4You after the social media giant labelled the organisation’s online posts as spam and blocked its domain name.
Founded in 2014, with the aim of tackling inequality by providing financial education, capacity-building and entrepreneurship support to BAME-led non-profit organisations, the charity changed its name from Money4Youth to Money4You in April last year in a move designed to better reflect its activities.
However, within a matter of weeks Facebook had blocked its new domain name, money4you.org, as well as its previous website domain, leaving it banned from posting new ads, while users were unable to share its posts on both Facebook and sister social media service Instagram.
This move meant that the charity was unable to fundraise on either site, share resources or communicate with beneficiaries.
At the time, Facebook told the charity that its URL violated the company’s community guidelines on spam, but it was not able able to specify which part of its policy Money4You had breached.
Facebook has since issued an apology after admitting the account was restricted in error. The account has now been restored.
Facebook said the issue was sparked by a previous organisation, not affiliated with the charity, which was using the domain money4you.org in 2017, and had been blocked for violating its guidelines. A spokesperson said: “Charities are an important part of our community and we have resolved the issue brought to our attention. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
A Money4You spokesperson responded: “I can confirm that, miraculously, the ban appears to have now been lifted. I would also like to point out, though, that we’ve had no communication from Facebook about this whatsoever.
“Facebook’s unexplained ban on our website has had real financial costs across several areas of our organisation and we expect to be dealing with those costs for several months to come.
“Facebook’s failure to provide any guidance on how we can correct the source of the ban shows a worrying lack of regard for small organisations like ours, which rely on digital and social media to reach out both our supporters and to those we support, particularly during the pandemic.
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