Social Fixer is a browser extension available for Chrome, Firefox and others. It exists to make Facebook a more pleasurable experience, by ironing out annoyances and adding extra features. In theory this means Facebook users are happier and therefore use the site more — everyone’s a winner. The tool is free and over the course of four years its developer, Matt Kruse, built up a following of hundreds of thousands of users. Now Facebook has wiped that out.
The Social Fixer tool still exists and still offers the same options as it did before, but it no longer has a Facebook presence. Back on 2 September the Social Fixer Facebook Page (which is still inaccessible) was “unpublished” by Facebook. The reason specified was that the page had been flagged up for spam — this is something Matt vehemently denies ever engaging in.
This in itself is nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Pages do get temporarily suspended from time to time, and it can be done by mistake. But what is more interesting is what happened yesterday, 11 September, following an appeal. This time Facebook completely removed the Social Fixer page entirely, citing a violation of “community standards”.
The page had over 330,000 likes but these have now been lost forever. The support group was used by over 13,000 people, but this has now been closed as well.
The case of Social Fixer is probably unique. It is free of charge, although donations are accepted, and the extension website does feature advertisements, but it is understandable why Facebook might take umbrage at its very existence. Social Fixer has its own website and is not exactly reliant on Facebook but the social network is where many people turn to for support from any product or company.
I’ve reached out to Matt to try to get some more details about what is happening now and next, and I’m waiting to hear back from him — I’ll update this article as and when I do.
In the meantime, what do you think about this? Assuming Matt has not been spamming users, what justification could Facebook have for closing down the pages? Do you use Facebook as a point of contact for your business, and does this worry you? Obviously Facebook is, ultimately, free to close any pages it wants for whatever reason — but is this right?