IOL content blocked on Facebook

06 August 2017 - 10:55
By Katharine Child

False spam reports have stopped people posting news articles from onto Facebook.

The IOL website‚ owned by the Independent Newspapers Group‚ features articles published in the Cape Times‚ the Cape Argus‚ The Mercury and The Star among others.

It appears too many legitimate news stories from the site were flagged by Facebook users as spam. The repeated spam alerts caused the social medial giant to stop allowing people to share IOLs news content on the site. Independent Online told users it was trying to sort out the problem.

It said in a statement: "We are currently receiving high volumes of spam alerts of news content that we have reported on. Some of it being the ‘UKZN Bust Story’ ‘Data disappearing’ story ‘Dullah Omar's name off Pro Zuma March’‚ ‘OPINION: Introducing the Business Report Corruption Buster’‚ to name a few."

The site said: "This seems to have a ripple effect on Facebook - causing those who have shared the content to also receive the spam notifications. We’re investigating the matter with Facebook headquarters and are trying to resolve the matter as we speak."

Users said they when they tried unsuccessfully to post an IOL article to their Facebook page‚ they received a notice that the news article was spam.

Eleanor Poulter said on Facebook: "Someone must be reporting posts to Facebook as spam. I got a notification as well after I shared the MTN disappearing data link. Since there have been a number of comments on various other threads about the media being anti-Zuma‚ agents of the DA‚ etc.‚ maybe the Zupta fans are trying to sabotage your FB presence."

WisaniGuyu Mudyiwabangu Mn'wanati said: "I shared your post of 6 white people kicking black couple. It was reported as a spam."

Facebook South Africa told website My Broadband that it could only respond to requests for comment on Monday morning.

Blocking all of IOL’s content on Facebook will decrease the number of people reading IOL articles‚ as many people use the social media platform to find articles‚ rather than visiting specific news websites for content.