Facebook Disables, Then Restores, Protest Site

Facebook riled the blogosphere Monday night by briefly disabling the "Boycott BP" page, a protest site with more than 700,000 fans. Although Facebook restored the site by this morning, some digital rights advocates are demanding answers.

"Facebook's decision to delete the page without warning or explanation was irresponsible," advocacy group Public Citizen said in a statement. "Facebook and other social websites have become the public squares of the Internet - places where citizens can congregate as a community to share their opinions and voice their grievances. ... At the very least, Facebook should provide warning and a reasoned explanation before destroying a large and active community." (Public Citizen represents MediaPost in an unrelated matter.)

Facebook said the admin profile of the page was deleted by an automated system. "After a manual review we determined the profile was removed in error and it has now been restored along with the Page," the company said in a statement.

Facebook has yet to explain why the review took several hours, or why the page was deleted without advance warning.

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