Facebook mistakenly removed a Fallout 76 group by The Free States Militia, one of the most popular roleplaying entities. The group received no warning, and Facebook admitted it was a mistake and reinstated the group.
The Free States Militia creator noticed the removal when he could not log on to Facebook to check on a lore piece he had uploaded earlier. He even restarted his phone thinking it was an issue with the mobile app.
He tried contacting the other group members only to realize their names were unsearchable. When they all got in touch through PSN, it became clear that their group had been removed along with their personal accounts.
According to the group’s creator, Bobby, they had not received any warnings from Facebook or an explanation of why their group and accounts were removed. The group speculated that the reason for the ban was the name ‘militia’ in their name.
“That’s the theory,” Bobby told PCGamesN. “Things in the world are quite tense at the moment. Understandably, platforms want to protect their members from certain things; however, many real-world and societal themes present themselves in video games. So, there is a ton of bleed over in terminology and verbiage. Games are increasingly adult-oriented, and that means adult themes.”
In the recent past, Facebook has been removing groups tied to “misinformation| and violence. What Facebook might have failed to realize is that though the Free States were anarchists, the group only engages in the video game context.
Booby explained that the only political discussions held by the group are related to characters in Fallout 76, not the real world.
The consequences of the ban were more than just game-related. Members lost “two years of creativity, collaboration, achievements, and memories.” Additionally, they lost memories in their personal accounts. One member was particularly devastated over losing a video of her dad saying goodbye before he died four years ago.
PCGamesN reached out to Facebook over the issue. The social media company realized the error and reinstated the group and the leaders’ personal accounts together with everything they had lost.
“We apologize for removing the Fallout 76 group in error and have since restored the Group and admin accounts,” a Facebook rep said.