Doncaster pensioner was suspended from his Facebook account – because the firm mistook footage of nesting owls for porn

A Doncaster pensioner was suspended from his Facebook account – because the firm mistook footage of nesting owl chicks for porn.

By David Kessen
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th July 2020, 5:03 pm

Graham Moss, from Askern, who has been self isolating, set up a camera in a nesting box for owls at the start of lockdown, because he thought it would keep people entertained while they were unable to go out.

But he was shocked when bosses at the firm removed the footage from his site – called Brockholes Wildlife Diary's – and banned him for 24 hours, with the message that the posting broke standards on adult nudity and sexual activity.

He struggled to find anyone to complain to, and eventually posted it back again – only to see it taken down again, and this time find himself threatened with a 72 hour ban.

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Footage from the owl cam

He said: “The only thing I can think of is someone maliciously reported it. The live stream is called Barn Owl Cam Live Stream, Direct from Their Nest. The only other word that could be gender related was the word ‘chicks’.”

"I tried to put it back on again, because I thought surely someone would have seen it for what it was by then, but they took it off again.”

Another live camera, monitoring kestrels in another nesting box, has not been affected by the problem.

Graham has had messages of support over his footage from all over the world.

Graham Moss with an owl chick

He added: “The other thing that really annoyed me was that I could not find anyone to contact to complain. I even tried to email Mark Zuckerberg.

"There are far worse things being posted than owls in their nest. It felt like I was being labelled a pervert, and that is why I wanted someone to say sorry.”

A Facebook spokesperson said: "We review millions of pages, posts and images each week and we occasionally make a mistake, as has happened here.

"This content was removed in error by our automated tools. We apologise to Mr Moss for any inconvenience caused and would encourage him to re-upload the video."

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