Newspaper posts about gay marriage disappearing from Facebook

Links to stories about gay marriage have been removed from the Facebook pages of several newspapers, including The San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly.

This trend was first spotted by Online Editor Eileen Faust of The Mercury in Pottstown, Pa., who said that newspaper's initial story involving a same-sex couple getting their marriage license and a few videos posted July 24 randomly dropped off the Mercury's Facebook fan page without warning.

She posted the story a few more times, and the same thing happened, according to the newspaper. “The one, it was three times in one hour,” she says.

Faust then made a video of the posts dropping out of sight, and soon other news outlets reported the same issue. What's interesting is the vanishing stories weren't necessarily all in favor of gay marriage. A story on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaking out against gay marriage also disappeared at least once, according to the newspaper.

Puzzled by the disappearing posts, the newspaper talked to Facebook, which confirmed the company had nothing to do with it. “This content was clearly not in violation of our terms, reinforced by the fact that the page administrators did not receive a notification,” Facebook's Alison Schumer told The Mercury.

But the mystery is not yet solved. SF Weekly put a call in to Facebook to have the company explain what's going on. Schumer simply repeated the above statement and dodged questions about how and why gay marriage posts at newspapers across the country are vanishing. She did ask for links to our vanishing posts and said the company would “look into it.”

We reached out to Mercury reporter Frank Otto, who says he's also getting no answers from Facebook.

“We haven't heard from Facebook since the middle of last week,” he said in an e-mail. “Beyond being told that our posts don't violate their policies, there hasn't been any indication of why exactly the links are disappearing. It's frustrating.”

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