Facebook has shut down growing support on the social network for embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
About 13,400 members have been blocked from inviting their friends to a newly created group “Support for Pravin Gordhan and a better South Africa” for “misusing” it.
The group’s administrator‚ Satish Dhupelia‚ created the group on Saturday and members were blocked from Sunday.
According to Facebook rules‚ the blocked members were inviting others “too fast”.
“We have limits in place to prevent abuse of our features and to protect people from spam and harassment. Limits are based on different factors‚ like speed and quantity‚ but we can’t provide additional details on the rate limits that are enforced‚” Facebook explains on its Help page.
Dhupelia said it was “very strange” that all members could not add their friends to the group.
“I really don’t know what to think. I find it suspicious. If you stop me from adding people‚ because I did add 4000 friends and if they didn’t want to be on the group‚ then maybe you can block me from adding people. But to block every member from adding even one person to the group is strange.”
As the administrator of several community and civic groups on Facebook‚ Dhupelia has never “seen this problem before”. “This is a group that has grown with phenomenal interest. It shot up to 13,400 people overnight before Facebook stopped us from growing and I think that the title of the group is what creates the interest‚” he said.
Dhupelia has sent two messages to Facebook administrators and is awaiting feedback.
“When I wrote to Facebook‚ I said this is a civic organisation and we need to grow this.”
The group was created to support the finance minister – who is embroiled in a standoff with the Hawks – in his quest to root out corruption in the country‚ Dhupelia said. “I didn’t start this on my own. A handful of us feel that things are not right in this country and we see Pravin as a shining star especially after watching that video in which he said that students could have their fees totally dropped if we stop all this corruption.”
“We think we really need to do something‚ we need to show how we feel and we need to show our support.”
Facebook administrators did not respond to queries for comment.
Source: Times Live