Facebook refused to remove a business Page dedicated to a woman’s butthole

Buzzfeed yesterday published an article about a woman who’d spent the past five years trying to get Facebook to take down a Business Page dedicated to her butthole. She was told several times the page didn’t violate the social network’s community standards, but shortly after Buzzfeed ran the story the Page was removed.

The Business Page, titled “Samantha Rae Anna Jespersen’s Butthole” appears to have been auto-generated in 2012. It’s unclear exactly what the criteria is for these Pages, but it’s likely the Page was created when someone abused the “check-in” feature of the platform. 

Facebook refused to remove a business Page dedicated to a woman’s butthole 1
Credit: Buzzfeed

The Page itself had the following statement before Facebook removed it:

This unofficial Page was created because people on Facebook have shown interest in this place or business. It’s not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with Samantha Rae Anna Jespersen’s Butthole.

This is a typical business Page with a map to the “business” and the ability to “recommend” it to other people on Facebook.

Buzzfeed reports that Jespersen was 15 at the time of the page’s generation and didn’t become aware of it until 2014 when she realized that it was the top result on Google Search when querying her name.

She told reporter Katie Notopoulos that she feared potential employers would see it when vetting her:

I feel like if anybody has found it, it would probably feel way too weird to talk to me about it. And if I didn’t get a job over it, they definitely wouldn’t call me and say, ‘Hey, found the Page about your butthole, not going to hire you, bye.’

Gizmodo‘s Whitney Kimball reached out to Facebook shortly after the Buzzfeed article was published and a company representative asked for a link to the page. It was subsequently removed.

Facebook refused to remove a business Page dedicated to a woman’s butthole 2
Credit: Gizmodo

Facebook repeatedly denied Jespersen’s attempts to have the page taken down despite the fact that the business clearly didn’t exist and the name of the page itself was targeted harassment. Jespersen’s frustration eventually led her to Reddit, where she solicited help from the r/legaladvice community. According to Gizmodo, she’s unsure yet what legal steps she might take, but historically her options might be limited.

Read: EU top court rules Google doesn’t need to apply the ‘right to be forgotten’ globally

It’s likely that Jespersen’s complaints to Facebook never saw human eyes. The social network doesn’t disclose exactly how it handles takedown requests, but it seems rational that any human would reasonably determine that a non-existent business named after a woman’s butthole violates Facebook community standards.

Interestingly, whenever experts bring up the fact that Facebook or YouTube’s algorithms aren’t sufficient for protecting people from this type of harm, the companies tend to point out that they augment their automated systems with human oversight. This doesn’t appear to be the case here.

The only other option for Jespersen was to claim the Page for her own, but she was unable to do so because Facebook requested a business phone number and required proof that the business was at the address stated.

It certainly appears as though Jespersen would have been without recourse had it not been for a major mainstream news outlet picking up her plight and exposing Facebook‘s complete inability to serve its users properly.

It shouldn’t take an article on Buzzfeed to get Facebook to protect us from its algorithms. But if you’ve had a similar experience with Facebook or other social media companies, you might want to reach out to a member of the press. 

TNW contacted Facebook for comment, we’ll update this article if we receive a response.

Facebook Won’t Remove This Woman’s Butthole As A Business Page on Buzzfeed News

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