ASHEBORO NC – The Liberty Police Department recently found that Facebook had “depublished” the Departments page on the social media site, and they still are not sure why, or if they will get it back.
The Town of Liberty announced the news on their Facebook page on Wednesday October 13th 2021. The post said that Facebook removed the page for “violation of community standards” and that Facebook has “refused to tell the Police Department exactly why the page had been depublished”. According to Facebook’s website violation of community standards could include anything from violence, exploiting children, hate speech, false medical advice or an inauthentic page or content.
“There were no warnings, no notice of any kind” said David Semrad, Chief of Police for the town; “no posts were taken down.” Semrad says they have filled an appeal to the decision, but have not yet received any response from Facebook, other than an automated reply.
The page had recently reached 2,000 followers, an impressive number for a town of only 2,650 people. Chief Semrad said he see’s the Facebook page as an important tool and said he had event recently hired social media savvy officer to specifically grow the departments social media presence. “One of the most pertinent reasons for our need for social media is that most people will only interact with law enforcement on traffic stops or 911 calls…these are usually not positive in nature. Social media allows humorous, positive daily interactions with the public.”
The Police Chief says they had been using the page for public service announcements, requesting help to solve crimes, emergency announcements, severe weather alerts, and lost & found animals. “The messaging service was often used by younger domestic violence victims to talk about their situation.”
Emails to Facebook’s public relations team went unanswered so far this week. If we receive a response we will post an update to this story.