Facebook blocks users from Scottish CND’s website

The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is considering an official complaint to Ofcom after Facebook blocked users from accessing the peace organisation’s website.

Anyone trying to access the official Scottish CND site from its Facebook page in recent weeks has been advised the URL breaches “community standards”.

Scottish CND told The Ferret that many people have complained about not being able to access its website via Facebook. The peace group thinks it may have been a “malicious complaint” or the perhaps the word “bomb” in the URL which is proving problematic.

Along with other social media platforms Facebook is a hugely valuable tool for nor-for-profit campaigns like Scottish CND and Facebook itself depends on the huge traffic that is generated by such organisations as ours.

David Mackenzie, assistant secretary at Scottish CND

Founded in 1958, not-for-profit Scottish CND is one of the longest running peace organisations in Scotland.

According to its website, the group’s main activities include campaigning for the abolition of nuclear weapons and informing the public about the implications of their use and possession.

Scottish CND says it plays a “vital role in building peace and justice” and it works closely with churches and faith groups, trade unions, academics, politicians and other organisations.

It also works with schools to promote information on conflict resolution and peace. Scottish CND Education received charitable status and is now called Peace Education Scotland.

Facebook is a tool for non-profits

David Mackenzie, assistant secretary at Scottish CND said: “When a post with a link to banthebomb.org is attempted the user is advised that the URL breaches its ‘community standards’. We have tried debugging, but the issue remains unresolved. 

Mackenzie said it is possible Scottish CND has been the target of a “malicious complaint” but added the more likely explanation is the “vast and dehumanised mechanism of the platform has stumbled on the ‘bomb’ word in the URL, setting off a crude alarm that seems unstoppable”.

He continued: “Our website is recognised as a standard go-to site for key resources on the UK’s nuclear weapon system and we certainly do not want to change that URL.

Facebook
Photo Credit: iStock/monsitj

“For now we are asking our supporters to try to make Facebook posts with links to our website and when blocked to register disagreement but we may sooner or later have to go to Ofcom with a complaint.

“Along with other social media platforms Facebook is a hugely valuable tool for nor-for-profit campaigns like Scottish CND and Facebook itself depends on the huge traffic that is generated by such organisations as ours.”

Ofcom is the regulator for communications services.

Facebook has been asked to comment. You can read more of our reporting on the topic here.

Photo Credit: iStock/HAKINMHAN

This post was updated on July 26 to correct minor typos. The post description suggested complaints could be made to Ofgem. The correct body is Ofcom.

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