Hispanic Online Community Rallies to Support Lance Ríos and Being Latino

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?

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I 'mFrankie De Sotoand I was born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I graduated at the top of my class from the University of North Texas with a BA in Art and 2 minors in Marketing and Radio, Television, and Film. I have been doing graphic design for the past couple of years creating graphics for advertising, signs, brochures , and flyers but I decided to return to school to expand my knowledge into more new media applications such as web design, human /computer interaction, Flash animation and marketing communications. I graduated with an MFA in Arts & Technology at the University of Texas at Dallas. My current studies are focusing on social media and marketing communications which in part encouraged me to begin this blog as well as my love for Hispanic culture and online media practices.
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16 Responses to "Hispanic Online Community Rallies to Support Lance Ríos and Being Latino"

  1. lucy says:

    When folks like Lance create something positive for the community, there will be those who will try to sabotage for no particular reason. Glad to see that folks from around the globe rallied for the page Being Latino and Lance.

  2. Joel Garcia says:

    That’s unfortunate… it’s not like he is pushing a political agenda. He’s just bringing Latinos to a social/cultural awareness by posting simple topics for discussion.

  3. Manuel(Pop) Rico says:

    Hang in there Lance.Only great things happen to good people.
    The true powerful one is watching over you.He will guide you,
    and show you the way.Do not let stupidity slow you down or
    discourage you.

    God Bless

  4. Eileen Rivera-de la Hoz says:

    It was truly an OMG moment! The most satisfying thing was the response from other Latino pages on FB. They stood up for Being Latino and supported our return.
    If an error of this magnitude could be made so casually, then the FB Police need to revise their procedures. These were two separate attacks on Being Latino and deserve a complete investigation and report.

  5. Frankie De Soto says:

    You’re right Joel, Being Latino is an online social forum where all Latinos can express their opinions and cultures within an intelligent community. Lance is real passionate about his fanpage and when it got shutdown, I’m sure he felt stressed out big time but it’s back online.

  6. Frankie De Soto says:

    Thanks for the post Eileen, I agree that Facebook should definitely be more specific about their investigation for future cases like this. We should also be aware that if it can happen to Lance, it can happen to any Facebooker or blogger.

  7. Frankie De Soto says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Manuel. All good news, Being Latino is back online, Lance can now take a deep breath and relax.

  8. Frankie De Soto says:

    You’re absolutely right Joel. Lance’s Being Latino fanpage is a social forum where all Latinos come together to share their thoughts and experiences about their individual Latino culture. Lance is very passionate about his page and he worked really hard on it, I’m sure it was spirit crushing when it got shutdown in mere minutes. Fortunately, Being Latino is back online and ready to go!

  9. Lance says:

    Frankie you are the man! I totally appreciate your support along with everyone else. Although it is something that I started, Being Latino is now a creative, collective space that is so special because there are so many who have invested their time and effort.

    Thank you to all who have supported! We’re back in action and stronger than ever!

  10. Frankie De Soto says:

    No problem Lance. You and your team have really built a social network where Latinos can come together online. To have it shut down like that would deprive the community the ability to express and socialize with one another. I had to let everyone know and it looked like they all supported you 100%

  11. Latino artist combines pop and Latino culture into visually stunning works of art | SOLPERSONA says:

    [...] Hispanic Online Community Rallies to Support Lance Ríos and Being Latino (solpersona.com) [...]

  12. Kari Shaffer says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv0GSYkthiw I had a great opportunity to interview Joe Kutchera at the Spanish Language Media Conference that was recently held in Denton, Texas. I’m currently finishing up his new book, Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content, which is about today’s online climate and how Hispanics are utilizing the online media technology [...]

  13. Latinos: Don’t mess with their Facebook « Being Latino's Blog says:

    [...] moments of BL’s shutdown, a new page, You Can’t Stop Us From Being Latino, sprung up to tell Facebook how many of us on BL-withdrawal were ready to go Nero on their butts. [...]

  14. Latinos: Don’t mess with their Facebook « Being Latino's Blog says:

    [...] moments of BL’s shutdown, a new page, You Can’t Stop Us From Being Latino, sprung up to tell Facebook how many of us on BL-withdrawal were ready to go Nero on their butts. [...]

  15. Carlos in DC says:

    I have seeing the work of Lance Rios in the last couple of years, and his FB page Being Latino and the work his team has done in the Being Latino blog, are very important. Needles to say, I am glad to know that Being Latino is back. About this attempt of censorship, I have experienced the same recently with my blogs Carlos in DC and Peruanista.

    Here is a video where I interviewed Lance about his work with Being Latino:

    https://carlosqc.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/latino-social-media-in-the-us-interview-with-lance-rios-of-beinglatino-video/

    PS- Can you please avoid using the Euro-centric term Hispanic? Most of us are not represented by that word. Thanks.

  16. Frankie De Soto says:

    Thank you Carlos for your comment and the link to your blog. Also, thank you for bringing up the issue of using the term Hispanic, I know that it has been a constant focus of discussion for many years. I do try to interchange “Latino” and “Hispanic” in my blogs to coincide with my content. I will be more selective in future posts, thanks again.

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