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Lost in translation! Facebook suspends town’s page over ‘offensive’ name

Ville de Bitche, a historic town in north-east France, was removed from Facebook for apparently using offensive language.

Facebook’s algorithm is ruthless! One of its latest “victims” is a small town in France, called Ville de Bitche. The social network’s systems apparently found the town’s page is using… offensive language and shut it down on March 19, to restore it almost a month later!

Bitche in the Moselle fell foul of the social network’s algorithm, which deemed it insulting and removed it without any explanation last month. In the interim, town hall staff created a new page “Mairie 57230”, the town’s postcode, to keep its residents up to date with local news and information, the Guardian reported.

After reports of the Facebook suspension spread, the social network restored the Ville de Bitche page, apologising “for the inconvenience.”

Mayor Benoît Kieffer said in a post: “The name of our town seems to suffer from a bad interpretation … the most astonishing thing is that Facebook took so long to correct this. “The president/director general of Facebook France has just contacted me personally to tell me the Ville de Bitche page is published again and to apologise for the inconvenience caused.”


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