A Fallout 76 roleplaying group was reportedly accidentally banned on Facebook while the platform did its sweep.
Readers should note that Facebook has been hard at work doing a platform sweep for accounts and pages that are likely violating its rules. Although, the group page of a prominent Fallout 76 roleplaying group was not guilty of any violation.
As PCGamesN reports, the removal of the group page was done in error. Facebook has since, per the publication, apologized for the error.
The Free States Militia Fallout 76 group
The group page is called the Free States Militia. Per PCGamer, the confusion may have been due to its “fairly generic-sounding.”
Compared to Michigan Militia, Missouri Citizens Militia, or the Ohio Defense Force, says gaming outlet, Free States Militia is not actually a militia group. Instead, it is a private group on Facebook who roleplays to the theme of the Fallout 76 game.
The thing is, the group page wasn’t the only page that got banned, but the accounts of its members as well. According to PCGamesN‘s interview with the page’s creator, Bobby, everyone’s accounts were taken down as well.
Bobby only found out about the ban because he was unable to log on when he tried to “to check in on a lore piece he put up on Facebook.”
“I tried to contact the other leaders of the group and found they were all unsearchable. We eventually got in touch through a PSN message and all were found to have had their accounts banned from Facebook and our Free States Militia game page removed,” says the group page creator.
Result of an error
As mentioned, Facebook has already sent in an apology statement through PCGamersN.
“We apologise for removing the Fallout 76 group in error and have since restored the Group and admin accounts,” the statement reads.
However, the reason behind the ban was not clear to the affected. Although, the strong theory centers the probability of the word “militia” on the group name.
Bobby further expressed:
“Things in the world are quite tense at the moment. Understandably, platforms want to protect their members from certain things; however, many real-world and societal themes present themselves in videogames. So there is a ton of bleed over in terminology and verbiage. Games are increasingly adult-oriented, and that means adult themes.”
Based on the report, it appears that the contents of the page were removed as well. In a tweet, the Free States Militia group posted that they’ve lost two years of lore and pictures.
What stung more was losing family memories on the members’ accounts.
Facebook uses an AI to do the sweeping, although actual humans monitor it. In an explanation sent to Kotaku by the platform, “occasionally Groups are removed in error. If we detect a Group is connected to a dangerous organization, we may remove the Group and associated admin Profiles are disabled.”