Have you seen The Cool Hunter before? Pretty rad site, lots of “cool” design and visual treats. In the last five years The Cool Hunter acquired 788,000 fans, the likes on the page were increasing between 1,500 and 2,500 daily. The Facebook page even generated 10,000 clicks to the site, TheCoolHunter.net daily.
Thats some serious traffic.
Facebook shut down the page in August. The link for the page, facebook.com/thecoolhunter, now simply displays “The page you requested was not found.”
Founder Bill Tikos spoke out online as to why it happened.
No explanation, flimsy warnings, no instructions on what to do next. None of our numerous attempts to rectify the situation and resurrect the page have worked.
And because we suspect there are other businesses in the same bind, we are writing this to seek help and encourage open conversation. This is not a minor problem. This is a huge issue and potentially fatal to businesses. We feel that FB must change its one-sided, secret policies and deal with us, and others like us, openly and fairly.
I contacted Facebook to verify this. I was told Tikos had received multiple warnings. Here’s the statement I got back:
This account has been disabled due to repeat copyright infringement under our terms and the account has been removed from the site accordingly. Additionally, we have thoroughly reviewed all related reports and have determined that we took the correct action in this case.
That last part is critical. I pressed Facebook to make sure that the cases weren’t just automatically flagged by some filter or too many reports from users. The spokesperson confirmed with me that all the claims of copyright infringement were legitimate.
So, what exactly did Tikos do wrong?
We know of only two infringements – two situations where FB closed our account, and we argue strongly that they were not infringements at all. The problem with this is that you don’t know if what you are posting could irk FB. But even if FB disagrees with the images we posted, are two images enough to kill our account with no chance of recourse?
Well, yes, it’s enough. In fact, Tikos wrote two conflicting statements in his post: “The other reason that could have caused the closure of our FB page is that we sometimes use images even when we do not know who has taken the picture.” and “We have never intentionally broken any FB rules and we are willing to do whatever it takes to get our page back.”
In Facebook’s terms of service ( Statement of Rights and Responsibilities), under the “Protecting Other People’s Rights” section, the first rule is: “You will not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law.” Furthermore, in its Community Standards, under Intellectual Property, Facebook states: “Before sharing content on Facebook, please be sure you have the right to do so. We ask that you respect copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights.”
After all this, will Facebook give Tikos another chance? “No,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Next Web in a statement. “This is permanent removal.”