Black Lives Matter Mpls. Facebook page restored after removal

Notice on the Black Lives Matter Facebook page
Notice on the Black Lives Matter Facebook page

Updated 6:30 p.m. | Posted 10:14 a.m.

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis objected after the group's Facebook page was temporarily unpublished by the company for much of Tuesday morning and early afternoon.

The group alerted Twitter followers that the page was down early Tuesday morning. The page had been restored by 2 p.m. that afternoon.

"Basically, they unpublished our page," said Miski Noor, the group's spokeswoman. "They're not indicating which posts or comments are a problem, or which community standards or terms are being violated. But they said we had the option to appeal the decision."

A Facebook spokesperson responded in an email that the "page was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We're very sorry about this mistake."

The spokesperson did not respond to a question asking what led to the page's temporary removal.

Noor said organizers suspect that recent online exchanges about St. Paul Police Sgt. Jeff Rothecker may be the subject of the complaint that prompted Facebook to act.

Rothecker apologized last week for his Facebook post urging drivers to run over Black Lives Matter demonstrators at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day protest about police shootings of black men. Rothecker was put on leave.

Noor said taking down the Facebook page was particularly difficult for Black Lives Matter Minneapolis because the group has announced and organized some of its highest profile events via Facebook.

"It would be very detrimental to all the organizing that we've done." Noor said. "We have over 39,000 likes. Our social media has been extremely essential to the work we've been doing."

Typical reasons for Facebook to shut down pages are copyright infringements, commerce that is not permitted and offensive content.

The company has been criticized in the past for shutting down Facebook pages associated with activist groups.

A group critical of San Francisco's train system had its page temporarily removed under similar circumstances last year.

The Hennepin History Museum's Facebook page was shut down for a few hours last January after apparent complaints about an exhibit detailing the history of the Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota.