Social Media has its ups and downs. One moment, a group or a page is popular. The next day, it’s gone.
Such was the case with WTF Magazine, an online fun publication. For four years, Jason Fyk built an audience of 2.1 million on Facebook. He invested approximately $100,000 USD in advertising.
Out of nowhere, the fan page was removed.
In terms of content, Fyk explained, “There are always people that do not like things we post. No one likes everything. However if you judge our content off the number of banned pictures as compared to the number we post we stay well within the guidelines of Facebook terms of service.”
In the four years of operation, 20 pictures and five links were banned. In the previous three months, only this link was banned. As for other content, Fyk told me, “Anything to do with [the] Muslim religion gets us being reported into the ground. People get fanatical and its a shame that a few people have a say over that of the masses.”
In response to accusations of dismembered people being posted, he told me that it simply wasn’t true. “You need to realize we have a group of haters that are already at it trying to sabotage our page. They do what is called Social Engineering. What that is, is saying stuff like that, which people don’t know is true or false.” Fyk said.
Page admins have strict instructions to not post racial slurs, child pornography, or attacks on religion.
“We do make fun of the fanatical groups which makes fun of feminists sometimes but I’d also make fun of fat people and I am one.” Fyk said.
A picture of two turtles of all things was reported. While the user initially messaged the page to remove it because they were in it, the admin asked where in the image they were at. Their story changed.
They then said they simply didn’t find it funny and that one of their grandchildren’s friends shared the image.
“There is no reason two turtles are a problem for facebook. Yet it was reported by some overly sensitive individual. But again, it’s not dismembered bodies, torture, self mutilation or anything even close.” Fyk said.
The website’s primary source of revenue is advertising, which is affected by web traffic. Thanks to the fan page, they were able to support a number of families, two of which who have members who are special needs.
“One is an adult who is mildly retarded. The other is a downs syndrome child.” Fyk said.
Since the page was deleted, the publication has been set back four years. Despite this, Fyk plans to support those families until they recover.
In order to rebuild, they are no longer relying on advertising alone. “I can’t announce everything but I am bringing in the CEO of another major publication to help out.” Fyk said.
If the original page is republished, they will emphasize the website instead of solely relying on Facebook. “Our fans won’t like it as much but they will have to come to the site to see the crazier stuff.” Fyk said.
There are also plans of moving beyond Facebook and expanding to other social media sites. This includes building a social media network as well. Regarding additional frustrations, Fyk told me that, “Facebook would not give us a verified brand check mark though we were an established tax paying business.”