Destinations

Facebook removes French town’s page, confusing it for an English swearword

Facebook has been left red-faced after mistakenly removing the official page for the French town of Bitche.

According to BBC News, the platform confused the town with a similarly-spelt English swear word.

In a post to the Ville de Bitche’s Facebook page, which has since been restored, the town’s mayor, Nenoît Kieffer, said he was informed that the page had been taken down on 19 March “in violation of conditions applying to Facebook pages”.

“The name of our town seemed to suffer from a bad interpretation,” he said.

In response to the removal, the town was forced to create a new page called Mairie 57230, which translates to ‘Town Hall’ followed by the town’s postcode.

Posted by Ville de Bitche on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

“What has happened to the town of Bitche demonstrates the insufficient and limited moderating tools that only the human gaze can appreciate,” Kieffer said.

The mayor said the head of Facebook in France contacted him to apologise and let him know the page had been reinstated.

Kieffer responded by inviting them and the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to visit Bitche.

A Facebook spokesperson told BBC News the page was removed “in error and swiftly restored”.

Travel Weekly has contacted the tourism department for Ville de Bitche, but had not received a response at the time of publication.


Featured image source: Facebook/Ville de Bitche


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