As we mentioned a couple of days ago, Facebook has decided to punish Southend News Network over an alleged ‘breach’ of their terms and conditions for Facebook Live, in spite of the fact that we ceased all Facebook Live activity after receiving an initial ‘friendly’ warning.

We accept that we broke the rules by running a number of live votes with ‘static graphics’ and moving vote counters, but what we can’t accept is why Facebook decided to take further action in spite of the fact that we complied with their initial demands entirely.

We have appealed using the official form, but we get the impression that it is like throwing turds at a shiny wall.

Looking back at some of the live polls that we have done and the notifications that we have received about them being ‘naughty’ (we should have just played things safe and murdered someone, that stuff usually flies on FL), it also seems that a number of people complained about our ‘Second EU Referendum’ poll where a ‘major malfunction’ meant that votes for Leave kind of didn’t get counted a bit.

Whoops. Anyone would think that we are some sort of news outlet that tries to specialise in taking the piss.

As a result of this fuckery, we are now in a situation where the Gods of Facebook have applied a short-term ban where our ‘reach’ has been limited.

In simple terms, unless people go out of their way to browse through our Facebook page (which is pretty much NOT how Facebook works), there is currently a greatly reduced chance that people will see our content in their News Feed.

Let’s face it – how many people pick up their smartphones and say ‘OK then. Let’s head over to Southend News Network and check out the latest stuff.’

The whole lifeblood of Facebook is how content appears in the News Feed.

When looking at the messages that we have received from Facebook HQ, it is now clear that the restrictions have been in place for a few days, and this graph from our Google Analytics account shows the consequences of Facebook’s sabre rattling.

According to Facebook, this restriction will be in place until July 12th, but as they have already proved they are willing to dish out punishments for actions that have already been sorted out.

What’s to stop them just finding something else to bitch us out about?

We are aware that everyone on Facebook has to dance to Facebook’s tune, given their absolute strangehold over the situation, and as Facebook publishers we all agree to a set of terms and conditions that pretty much mean that Mark Zuckerberg now owns the entire soul of anyone who is on there.

As we have already pointed out, Facebook Audience Network is our main advertising partner, which means that their actions will actually hit their own profits.

Fair enough, it will be a mere ‘pee in the ocean,’ but it still makes the whole situation even more nonsensical.

The whole bottom line is the question of what we and our fans can actually do about this.

The answer? Fuck all.

Even more to the point, we don’t know how many people will see this post, mainly because Facebook will start cat-peeing it from the moment that we stick it online.