November 03, 2023

BC Pipers Association Facebook page shut down by Meta

Despite being a registered nonprofit serving the Pacific Northwest’s piping and drumming community, Meta – the oligarchical parent company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – effectively shut down the benign organization’s properties on those “platforms” without any warning or explanation.

The shutdown started on November 1st, with the BCPA’s Facebook page suddenly redirecting users to the organization’s website, apparently being changed or removed entirely by Meta. The page was recently restored, at least temporarily.

“Without consultation with the Board of Directors of the BCPA, the social media giant Meta, responsible for Facebook and Instagram has taken the steps to change or remove all links directing our audience back to our website,” said BCPA board member Garth Newlands. “Posts that contained links to the BCPA’s website were first changed by the Meta engine to a non-existent website – – a website address that the BCPA has never owned. This initially created confusion for our visitors to our Facebook page posting comments about broken links in our news posts. It is as yet still unclear how far and wide this will reach on our social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram.”

The BCPA believes that Meta’s draconian move is in response to the passing on June 22nd of the Canadian government’s Bill C-18, otherwise known as the Online News Act, which works to require social media companies to share part of their massive advertising profits with the Canadian media companies that produce much of their traffic, and thus visibility for paid advertising.

In 2022, Meta showed revenue of US$116-billion. Facebook, on its own, reaped a profit in 2022 of US$23.1-billion.

In 2022, Meta showed revenue of US$116-billion. Facebook, on its own, reaped a profit in 2022 of US$23.1-billion.

The annual operating budget of the volunteer-based BCPA is believed to be less than CAD$100,000.

The social media platforms threatened to shut down Canadian news publications in retaliation, in a sort of extortion attempt similar to what occurred in Australia a few years ago.

“When our social media team attempted to correct the links with the correct website address, the link was removed entirely upon saving,” Newlands added. “Additional attempts were made to post the website address again only to have the link removed once again. Meta took further steps to also remove our website address from the about section of our Facebook page. When attempts were made to add it back to our Facebook page, the save would not accept the website address. When last checked, email addresses listed with the domain were still present but speculation is that the Meta engine will remove those in the near future, too.”

While the BCPA has a robust website, the piping and drumming world was an early adopter of Facebook as a source of information or, as with pipes|drums, a simple alert system when new content is published. Facebook has lost substantial popularity with those younger than 30, who see the platform as something for older people.

Why Meta considered the BCPA a “news” operation is a mystery. The massive company has not yet provided an explanation to the association.

“I can only assume that since this is a similar type thing where we’re updating membership as to events and news as to schedules and orders of play that they consider that the same type of thing and that’s why they decided to go ahead and block us,” Newlands said.

In February 2021, Facebook, in response to similar legislation, blocked news posted in Australia. Within a week, Facebook and Google made a deal with the Australian government and content posted by credible news organizations was allowed again.

In contrast, the Canadian government has not struck a similar arrangement, recognizing that life can go on without the angst and addictive tendencies that social media platforms have been proven to cause.





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