It’s no secret that Facebook frequently removes copyright-infringing links shared by its users.
However, it sometimes goes a step further by removing entire pages. This is also what happened to ExtraTorrent, one of the largest torrent sites around.
Even though the site stopped sharing links to copyrighted material on Facebook years ago, it was still being reported by copyright holders, music industry group IFPI in particular.
As a result, Facebook flagged the ExtraTorrent page as a repeat copyright infringer. This recently resulted in the removal of its fan page, which had tens of thousands of followers.
According to ExtraTorrent operator SaM, it didn’t stop there either.
“They blocked multiple ExtraTorrent pages,” he says. “First our main page, and after some fans made new pages, these were removed every other day as well.”
Roughly a half dozen fan-made pages were removed by Facebook. On top of that, the user profiles and groups associated with the official ExtraTorrent page were disabled as well.
“They even disabled profiles of those who were moderating the page. All groups were removed and profiles of admins were disabled,” SaM tells us.
The complaints were sent to Facebook on behalf of IFPI, according to ExtraTorrent’s operator. However, since his profile was deleted he no longer has access to the messages in question.
Although the ExtraTorrent page did not post any updates linking to infringing material, it did list the site’s URLs and official mirrors in its profile. Perhaps this was enough for Facebook to warrant its actions.
That would make sense, as the social networking site is actively flagging all ExtraTorrent links on its service. Anyone who wants to post an ExtraTorrent link, with or without torrent, has to go through a “security check.”
“It looks like a link you’re sharing might be unsafe. If you can, please remove this link: extratorrent.cc,” Facebook warns, adding “If you can’t remove this link and you still want to share it, please complete the security check below.”
The same warning also pops up for private messages, making it impossible to share an ExtraTorrent link without having to go through an additional check.
Whether the ExtraTorrent URL filter is piracy related is unknown, but the page removal certainly is.
Also, this is not the first time that ExtraTorrent has lost its Facebook following. The same happened last year, as well as a few years earlier.
Shortly before publishing this article a new unofficial ExtraTorrent Facebook page was registered, again started by fans. However, ExtraTorrent informed us that they’ll stay away from the social network for the time being.