Facebook users are noticing that a hashtag with the phrase Save the Children (#SavetheChildren) appeared to be banned or censored on Facebook. Although statuses with the hashtag could still be posted, clicking on the hashtag didnt reveal any results or, instead, came with a warning about community safety guidelines. After a couple of hours, it appears the hashtag may be restored. It works for Heavy, but some Facebook users are telling Heavy that the hashtag is still censored for them.
While you could still post using the Save the Children hashtag (and Facebook automatically suggests adding a donation button when you do so), the hashtag itself appeared to be banned or censored on Facebook searches. Now it appears to be working again as of 12 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, August 6, but its not clear if thats a permanent or temporary change. The ban was first noticed on the evening of August 5.
Clicking on the hashtag on desktop revealed the following error message: This Content Isnt Available. This may be because of a technical error were trying to fix, or because the content was removed.
A different error message popped up if you tried to click on the hashtag on mobile. On mobile, a message appeared that read: Keeping Our Community Safe. Posts with #SavetheChildren are temporarily hidden here. Some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards.
At this time, an official reason why the posts were hidden had not been confirmed. Some people said they were reporting disturbing photos and pages that theyd seen to Facebook and tagged them with #SavetheChildren to spread the word and ask others to report the pages too. The hashtag may have been auto-censored because of the photos that were tagged with it.
In the Facebook screenshot below, one person said they had edited their photos later because of the disturbing nature of the images that were connected to the hashtag they had shared.
Others thought it may have been because some posts with the tag were reported to Facebook as violating standards, and an auto-censorship may have kicked in. Heres one example where the hashtag appeared with a photo claiming Tom Hanks was a pedophile:
Facebook has not yet announced a reason for censoring the hashtag as of the time of publication.
Some commenters told Heavy that they had previously run into issues reporting disturbing Facebook pages or groups involving children. One person told Heavy that they personally had reported a disturbing page to Facebook and were later told that the page didnt violate Facebooks standards. Heavy has blurred out the name of the page so as not to advertise it.
The commenter told Heavy about the page they reported, asking that their name not be included: Its so sick I cant even write it. Looked to be a young person being made to do something to an adult . And then I got freaked out that I was even on the link to report it, and jumped out fast.
They were later told by Facebook, as shown in the screenshot above, that the page didnt violate Facebooks standards. Several other people came to Heavy sharing that they too had reported disturbing groups to Facebook that they were concerned may have involved minors, but the groups had not been removed yet. Heavy has not verified those pages or groups, but has reached to Facebook for comment.
People are talking about the ban on Twitter too.
Most of the tweets are anger about the hashtag being censored, as quite a few people were using it to try to bring attention to child trafficking.
Some suggested that because the hashtag was also associated with QAnon, that might have been why it was censored.
Some people are simply sharing the hashtag because theyre not sure why it was censored.
Heavy has reached out to Facebook for comment.
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