Viz comic back online following Facebook takedown

Still too offensive? Viz has changed its Facebook profile picture.
Still too offensive? Viz has changed its Facebook profile picture.

Satirical comic Viz is back on Facebook, following having its page blocked by the social network.

A statement on the Facebook page, which is ‘Liked’ by more than 450,000 people, said: “We’re back. They wouldn’t tell us what we did, but we promise not to do it again, whatever it was.”

Yesterday the publication, owned by Dennis Publishing, tweeted an image of its official page complete with a message from Facebook explaining that it had been “unpublished” because it did not follow the site’s terms and community standards.

Still active on twitter at @vizcomic, the magazine tweeted a new profile picture, replacing Biffa Bacon with puppies and kittens - “Just working on our new Facebook profile. What do you think? Still too offensive?”

The near 40-year-old comic is known for its strong language and adult humour while being a parody of titles such as the Beano.

“Facebook have taken the Viz page down. We can appeal, but if we get it wrong, we’ll be ‘permanently deleted’. Oo-er”, said the tweet from @vizcomic.

Content can be removed from Facebook when it is reported as unsuitable by users.

Ian Westwood, group managing director with Dennis Publishing, said he was not aware what content had violated site rules.

“We have had that Facebook page for five years,” he said.

“We have had correspondence with them before about stuff they haven’t liked and we’ve taken it down. This time they have just blocked the page and won’t tell us what we’ve violated.”

Viz also tweeted a mocked up version of a new page which contained images of puppies and kittens, asking if the new look was “still too offensive”.

Facebook said it was looking into the issue.

The news comes days after a BBC investigation claimed it had found secret groups on the social networking site used by paedophiles to swap obscene images of children, but they had not been taken down.

The BBC claimed Facebook said that some of the images, which were innocent but accompanied by obscene posts, did not breach the rules.

Facebook responded that it has a zero tolerance approach to child exploitation, but could not comment on the BBC investigation “because we have not been provided with any information on the groups in question”.

It said it would investigate fully and remove groups “once we confirm they are against our rules”.

The comic was started in Newcastle in December 1979 by Chris Donald, who produced it from his bedroom with help from his brother Simon and friend Jim Brownlow.

At its peak it sold 1.2 million copies per issue.