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The Shade Room is back on Facebook, other media startups still “in jail”

TechCrunch TechCrunch 20/04/2016 Lora Kolodny

The celebrity gossip and news startup The Shade Room is back on Facebook, the startup announced today, albeit under a new moniker.

It’s previous page, which had racked up over 4 million followers was “facebook.com/theshaderoom” and the new profile is “facebook.com/shaderoominc.”

The startup said earlier its page had been removed from the Facebook ecosystem without any notice, highlighting a challenge for new media publishers that take a multi-platform approach or a Facebook-centric one.

Companies that publish content to Facebook to grow their audience or connect with customers are subject to the social network’s policies, and policy changes. If they don’t play by Facebook’s rules, they can find their profiles suspended or removed.

Jamie Bolding is the CEO of a London startup called Viral Thread that experienced a similar fate. He told us that Viral Thread had grown its follower-count on its main Facebook page into the millions before it was removed.

The company is now running several Facebook pages, full of curated videos it hopes will be meme-worthy. Its main page there, “Facebook.com/vtvideoscom,” has a humble 132,416 followers today.

Bolding said he has seen a rash of take-downs of startup brands’ Facebook pages over the past month, especially for those that have cultivated a large audience but never attained the coveted blue check indicating their accounts are verified, he said.

The Viral Thread CEO said, “Facebook never informed us of [certain] policy changes. When you have a copyright takedown you get automatic emails, but never an actual serious warning of ‘your page is going to get deleted’. I think their communication here was pretty appalling considering many businesses live off their Facebook page. We spent 2 years building ours up, helping Facebook grow, then they just cut us off with a flick of a switch, leaving me to deal with 15 employees.”

We have reached out to The Shade Room and Facebook for more information.

Earlier today, Re/Code’s Peter Kafka reported that Facebook representatives said they took down The Shade Room’s page for multiple copyright violations. But, The Shade Room founder Angie Nwandu told Re/Code that Facebook sent her a notification that only cited violations of their terms of use, and not specifically copyright issues.

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