Ebony Jade Neumann’s social media accounts were shut down because she searched for a Mexican restaurant using the word Lolita. Photo / Jerad Williams/News Corp Australia
A Gold Coast woman has had her account blocked by Facebook after she innocently searched for a local eatery.
Ebony Neumann’s account was hit with a ban shortly after she tried searching for a local Mexican restaurant called Lolita, according to reports.
The Currumbin Valley nutritionist believes searching that term is what triggered the social media giant to block her Facebook account. Her Instagram account was frozen shortly afterwards (the site is owned by Facebook).
“I was searching for a nearby Mexican restaurant, Lolita’s, and after typing this in, Facebook instantly notified me that I had breached their ‘Community Standards’ and put my account under review,” she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“I feel this is so extreme and unfair considering my personal character, my history of Facebook use and my work which is devoted to helping women overcome their health challenges.”
After initially being blocked, Neumann frantically began calling and emailing whoever she could to get her accounts back up and running, only to get a response from Facebook saying, “We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed”.
Neumann claims Facebook’s decision to freeze her social media pages has negatively impacted her business page and its 6000 followers – none of whom she could contact or connect with.
Historically, the term “Lolita” – a derivative of the Spanish term “Lola” – became renowned after the release of Russian author Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel of the same name.
Meaning young seductress, the word was embroiled in controversy 50 years ago given the book’s plot, which centred around a man who repeatedly raped his 12-year-old stepdaughter.
Though disturbing, the novel is one of the most renowned works of 20th century fiction.
Owner of Lolita’s Cantina, Mark Wilson, said the realisation that their business name came with some baggage did prompt some concern, but they decided to stick with it as all the promotional material had already been created.
Neumann’s accounts have since been reinstated but the social media giant insists it wasn’t that word that triggered the week-long shutdown.
It says her account was “compromised”.
“We know that losing access to your account can be a distressing experience, and we continue to develop new tools to help people recover their accounts,” a Facebook spokesman told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“We know we can do more here, and we’re working hard to improve these systems and keep our community safe.”