Fans boycotted the seeming boycott of a boycott early Tuesday morning, when Facebook suddenly disabled the 'Boycott BP' page, one of its most popular fan pages, with over 734,000 'likes.' According to Techcrunch, whose post about its restoration was immediately one of the hottest on Twitter, Facebook wouldn't say what caused its automated system to delete the page. It released this statement: "After a manual review we determined the profile was removed in error and it has now been restored along with the Page."
After initial outcry on both Twitter and Facebook over the page's deletion, the creator of the page, "Bayou Lee" Perkins, put up an alternative to handle the frequent commentary and exclamation point-filled recommendations of its many fans, writing on the new page, "We must have been doing something right." Boycott bpARCO grew to 10,000 fans by the time Facebook made its statement and restored the original Boycott BP page a little after noon Tuesday.
Perkins was immediately suspicious, writing on his own web site, "FaceBook apparently is in the barrel for BIG OIL!!! They are a slippery bunch. No notice. No warnings of supposed violation of usage policy. Total disregard for procedure... My daughter's and two close friends' FaceBook accounts have been removed."
Headlines over the weekend indicating that BP's station owners have been asking for compensation from the oil giant had most fans cheering, posting multiple messages every minute. The page's recovery wasn't enough for Facebook users, disposed as they are to pessimism about big companies, and a Change.org petition demanded, "Facebook Stop trying to censor BoyCott BP and do not take them down again." The petition had 86 signatures as of this writing.