The Free States Militia, one of Fallout 76’s most influential roleplaying entities, had its Facebook group removed without any explanation.
PCGamesN reports that though the group was only banned for a short time, it was a bizarre turn of events that affected group members far beyond hindering their enjoyment of a game.
When group owner Bobby couldn’t log into his Facebook account, he first assumed he was having issues with the mobile app. It turns out, however, after contacting other group members, all of their accounts had been disabled. Their group was equally unsearchable.
It was only after connecting on PlayStation that the group discovered no one could access the group and their accounts had been deactivated. This all followed Bobby’s latest lore piece he had added to Facebook that explored the group’s journey in Fallout 76.
Instead of remaining online for the group to discuss their in-game memories and conquests, the lore had been completely deleted. The entire group was gone. Facebook did not reach out to warn any of the members or group owners, and no one recalls having received any warnings before the ban and subsequent removal of the page.
The group, after much discussion, eventually came up with the explanation that their hard work was dismantled likely because it contained the word “militia.” Facebook has been taking action in terms of removing groups with content that violate the social media platform’s content guidelines in terms of pushing back on violence and misinformation.
As stated in a recent announcement, however, it isn’t only humans who have the power to review these potential violations — there’s also an AI at work to help the process along. However, the Fallout 76 group was only an anarchist group within the bounds of a video game, not the real world.
PCGamesN reports that the publication reached out for further clarification on the situation, but not long after that, those involved had their accounts reinstated. The Free States Militia group was also returned to its rightful owners.
“We apologize for removing the Fallout 76 group in error and have since restored the Group and admin accounts,” a Facebook spokesperson since replied.
Whatever snafu occurred here, it seems to have been a genuine mistake. Facebook did not explain the situation nor what lead to the issue’s occurrence any further.