Facebook security advice site blocked, and then restored, by Facebook

The folks who run the unofficial Facebook Privacy and Security blog had one crazy day. Early Thursday morning, the site’s operators were unable to update their own Facebook page after it was blocked for being “spammy” by the social networking company.

But it didn’t stop there.

Facebook security advice site blocked, and then restored, by Facebook
Image: Facebook Privacy and Security

The blog, whose stated aim is to help Facebook members secure and protect their online information, confirmed that its regular visitors were greeted with the following message when they tried to share links to the site’s content on their walls: “Sorry, this post contains a blocked URL. The content you’re trying to share includes a link that’s been blocked for being spammy or unsafe.”

An admin of the site said he was surprised by the abrupt block, though believed it was simply a false positive.

“We haven’t been contacted by Facebook directly as to why this blog has been flagged, and so this would seem part of Facebook’s automated process – a vital tool for Facebook to fight spam and scams on its platform,” he said. “And while we are temporarily frustrated, we applaud Facebook’s anti-spam efforts, and hope to be released from them shortly.”

And sure enough, the site was. Later that day, the blog updated its readers that the ban was indeed a mistake and that operation were (mostly) restored.

“We and other pages/individuals completed Facebook’s Blocked Content form, which invites users to point out if content has been placed in their anti-spam filters in error,” wrote the site. “We are pleased to announce that thanks to these efforts, links to this blog are now being restored. Some are still finding they are unable to click on the links, however we gather it will take time for the information to filter through all of Facebook’s servers.”

Despite Facebook’s blunder, the site remained humble, thanking in particular “the Facebook employee who checked out and verified our blog.”

Last month, the blog uncovered a major spam attack which brazenly targeted Facebook’s own Help Center. The spammers offered iffy links to streaming coverage of sporting events. A list of Facebook bugs and glitches is also hosted at the site, providing a running tally of the site’s blunders. (via Naked Security)