Facebook removes page of French town called Villa de Bitche

Facebook made an embarrassing mistake recently when its algorithm removed the page of a French town named, Ville de Bitche after mistaking its pronunciation with the English insult.

“The name of our town seemed to suffer from a bad interpretation,” Bitche’s mayor, Benoît Kieffer said.

“What has happened to the town of Bitche demonstrates the insufficient and limited moderating tools that only the human gaze can appreciate,” he said.

Bitche's Facebook page.
Facebook reinstated the page and apologised

He added that the page was removed for violating site rules.

“On 19 March, Facebook informed us that our page, Ville de Bitche, was no longer online, on the basis that it was ‘in violation of conditions applying to Facebook pages’,” he said in a statement.

The town had to go and create a new page, Mairie 57230, named in reference to the town’s postcode.

But the mayor said the president of French Facebook had contacted him on Tuesday to tell him the page had been reinstated and to apologise for the inconvenience.