Viz magazine blocked from Facebook

Profane parody of tabloids and comics tweeted that Facebook had hidden its Facebook page and threatened it with deletion

The frequently foul-mouthed comic Viz has had its brand page blocked by Facebook.

The almost 40-year-old Viz, a parody of titles like Beano but with frequently risque language and humour, tweeted that Facebook has blocked its page.

The message from Facebook warned that if the publisher makes an unsuccessful appeal to have the page reinstated, it could face being permanently deleted.

Facebook have taken the Viz page down. We can appeal, but if we get it wrong, we'll be "permanently deleted". Oo-er.

— Viz Comic (@vizcomic) February 16, 2016

Ian Westwood, group managing director at parent Dennis Publishing, said that Facebook has not said what content violated its content rules.

“The question is what is, and isn’t acceptable to Facebook,” he said. “We have had that Facebook page for five years. We have had correspondence with them before about stuff they haven’t liked and we’ve taken it down. This time they have just blocked the page and won’t tell us what we’ve violated. We can appeal, but we don’t know what we would be appealing about, we put up a significant number of posts from the print brand to social media each day.”

The magazine, which is published by The Week and Fortean Times owner Dennis Publishing, posted a further tweet asking Facebook if its new profile, asking: “Still too offensive?”.

Just working on our new Facebook profile. What do you think? Still too offensive?

— Viz Comic (@vizcomic) February 16, 2016

Westwood said that the Viz team thought that in the first instance the best response was to alert its 146,000 followers on Twitter to explain why the Facebook page was down.

“We were thinking how best to respond to it,” he said. “We thought the best thing of all was to first of all let our followers know on Twitter. It’s becoming something of a cause celebre, a negative being turned into a positive.”

One positive is picking up a new fan in Ricky Gervais, who has over 10 million followers, who began following Viz’s twitter feed on Tuesday.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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