Facebook shutters The Cool Hunter for copyright issues

With little warning, the social network shuts down the pop-culture Web site's Facebook account, leaving the founder and the site's nearly 800,000 fans to wonder what went wrong.

The Cool Hunter's Web site. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Facebook has cracked the whip on The Cool Hunter. After little warning the social network shuttered the design and pop-culture Web site's Facebook page eight weeks ago, leaving both the founder and its 788,000 fans wondering what went wrong.

In a blog post this week, founder Bill Tikos bemoaned the shutdown and said that it has severely hurt the site's business. According to Tikos, its Facebook fan base grew by 1,500 to 2,500 per day and also generated more than 10,000 click-throughs to the site per day. Overall, The Cool Hunter has 2.1 million monthly site visits, along with hundreds of thousands of Twitter and Instagram followers.

Here's more from Tikos:

Our Facebook presence has been a unique and extremely important part of our strategy. It is the water cooler of our global community. Losing our FB page is not just a minor hick-up. It is a serious loss of connection and interaction, and of a massive amount of content.

We post items on FB that may not make it to the actual blog, giving hundreds of artists and designers exposure, and thousands of fans something new to see. Our FB page provides the interaction, comments and ideas that help us keep our editorial fresh. It helps us generate ideas for our weekend playlists, gives us tips for our world tours on what to do and see in each city. Most important, our FB community keeps us on our toes, generates great ideas and feedback, and lets us know when we are on the right track.

In the blog post, Tikos openly questioned why Facebook decided to shutter its account. A Facebook spokesperson told CNET, "This account has been disabled due to repeat copyright infringement under our terms and the account has been removed from the site accordingly. Additionally, we have thoroughly reviewed all related reports and have determined that we took the correct action in this case."

Tikos wrote that he had no idea what his company was infringing upon and that it never "intentionally" broke any Facebook rules, but he did admit that there were two images that possibly could have qualified under copyright infringement. He also said there may have been times when appropriate image credit wasn't given because the company couldn't "find that information."

Facebook's terms of service explicitly state that users cannot "post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law."

Tikos desperately wants its Facebook account reinstated and he said he will do whatever necessary to make that happen. But, according to The Next Web, the social network isn't budging. A spokesperson told the news source that the disabling of The Cool Hunter's account was a "permanent removal."

Updated October 5 at 1:05 p.m. PT with comment from Facebook.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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