These past two days were probably one of the most stressful days that Lance Ríos went through in his entire online career. For some unusual reason, his Facebook fanpage, Being Latino, which has over 50,000 fans completely shut down. His members were at a loss, I’m sure some we’re trying to find out what’s going on, including myself at that time. I mean, how can Facebook shutdown one of the most successful fanpages for Hispanics online? I also found out that his blog was momentarily shut down as well.
As to what happened to his fanpage, Lance Ríos stated, “All that I could gather is that if a ‘significant’ amount of people mark page’s post as inappropriate, Facebook freezes it. You can either appeal it or it is shut down for good. I’ve made the appeal, let’s see what happens. Doesn’t seem to me that we’ve violated any of their terms. This happened to our Word Press site two weeks ago. This is not a coincidence, it’s an organized coordinated attack.“ (via HispanicTips)
I’ve been following Lance’s work since Being Latino’s inception and I know that there’s never been content that is considered inappropriate. Being Latino is a online hub where all Latinos come together to share their unique experiences and discuss issues that affect them. Being Latino is not only a great open communication platform but it’s also a useful marketing research tool that businesses can study from to better build advertising and marketing campaigns to communicate with Latinos. He really worked hard in making it a success and to have it shut down like that can really crush someone’s spirit and it makes you wonder that if it happened to him it can happen to anyone.
However, this didn’t stop Lance from bringing his fanpage back online so he sought answers and he also set up a separate Facebook fanpage called You Can’t Keep Us From Being Latino – Bring Back BL to gather support from his community. I was amazed at how fast everyone united to support Lance and his efforts to bring back Being Latino. I also took the initiativeve to spread the message to my Twitter followers and Facebook followers. I wanted to keep everyone informed of what was going on and I also encouraged everyone to use their own social media networks as well, even major Hispanic sites such as HispanicTips and the Hispanic PR Blog tried to find answers by contacting Facebook. This was social media at its finest and to put it metaphorically, it was like a small town quickly coming together to help put out one of their neighbor’s house fire.
Fortunately, the crisis was brief and Facebook reinstated Being Latino along with a statement by Facebook spokesperson Simon Axten:
“Our reviewers look at thousands of pieces of content a day that are reported to them. Of course, they make an occasional mistake. This is just an example. When this happens, we work quickly to resolve the issue. We’ve restored the page and apologize for any inconvenience its removal may have caused.” (via Hispanic PR Blog)
It looks like Lance can relax now with the full knowledge that the Hispanic online community was behind him all the way, further proof that Hispanics have the ability to utilize and control online technology and social media communication for any purpose. On a positive note, Being Latino managed to gain another 1,000 new fans. How did the Being Latino shutdown affected you and what did you do to support Lance’s efforts to bring it back?
- Facebook: The Latino Way (clickz.com)
- The Latino Link: 4 Keys to expanding your business online and connecting to a Latino audience (krishnade.com)
- U.S. Hispanic Population Is Booming (politics.usnews.com)