Viz responded to Facebook's temporary 'ban' by mocking up a 'family friendly' page with animal pictures

Dark humoured British comic Viz claimed it was kicked off Facebook for violating ‘community standards’ on Tuesday morning, before the social media site reinstated it claiming a mistake.

Famous for its toilet jokes and mordant satire of British culture, the magazine gave the world the Fat Slags, foul-mouthed television presenter Roger Mellie and Sid the Sexist – but Facebook appeared to not be a fan.

Viz announced on Tuesday morning that its brand page had been ‘unpublished’.

Despite the prospect of a permanent ban should its appeal have been rejected, Viz took Facebook’s move in good spirits, tweeting this mock-up of a more "family-friendly" page:

It was initially unclear exactly why Viz’s page was deleted, but Facebook’s community standards specifically permit more explicit content where it is posted for "educational, humorous or satirical purposes". 

Restrictions on the display of both nudity and sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless the content is posted for educational, humorous or satirical purposes.

For some the irony of the Viz page being flagged for deletion was too much: among the many characters and comic strips created by Viz writer Barney Farmer – including the Drunken Bakers and Roger Mellie – is the ‘Male Online’, posted regularly by Farmer on Twitter.

The character is a self-appointed (and hypocritical) digital vigilante who polices the comment section of the Daily Mail website.

There were some strong reactions, with many suggesting that Facebook allows much more troubling content than the lewd comics offered up by Viz. 

This is certainly not the first time Facebook has been criticised for being heavy-handed: in January it removed photographs of a 102-year-old statue for contravening nudity rules and is now part of a landmark legal case after banning a French user who posted a naked artwork.

Update: Facebook reinstated the page on Tuesday afternoon, explaining that it had been taken down in error

A spokesperson told i100:

We want Facebook to be a place where people can express their opinions and challenge ideas, including through satire and comedy. Upon further review we found that the Viz page had been removed in error. We have now restored it and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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