A Birmingham tattoo artist has said her business could collapse after Facebook blocked her business and private accounts and shut down her Instagram page, costing her thousands of pounds. Kat Douglas, who runs Katwalk Ink in Kings Norton, said she was accused of posting three posts about child nudity and 13 posts which went against ‘standards about dangerous individuals and organisations’ , purporting to refer to terrorist content.
But Kat said her private account was hacked and the alleged messages had nothing to do with her. She is the sole administrator of her company’s Facebook and Instagram pages, but said she had been put on lockdown as her Insta – owned by the same parent company – disappeared completely.
Crucially, it meant she couldn’t see or respond to messages, thereby losing the vital business of her 6,000 combined followers and likes on social media platforms. She estimated she had already lost £2,000 in bookings since being alerted to the issue on Thursday May 12.
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And she said it was a double whammy because spring was one of her busiest times of year, while 80% of her business came from her online social media channels. Kat said she would be forced to close unless the issue was resolved.
The Clent Hills, Worcestershire resident said the last Facebook post she posted was about her dog. And the one before was holiday photos in Dubai.
The 44-year-old, who has four staff and was previously paid to advertise on platforms, said: I’m massively into ***t and it’s costing me a fortune.
“On May 12, I checked my business page on Facebook and it said I violated community standards with three posts with child nudity. I only use my Facebook account for posts personal.
“The last photo was of my dog in the bluebells. I use it a lot. Before that it was vacation photos from a trip to Dubai. But it’s usually still my dog.”
Kat said her account was completely private with the highest privacy settings. She said she had around 900 friends on it, many of whom were tattoo artists who shared their ideas.
She added, “On my business page, I’ve posted the tattoos we’ve done, the designs we have, and whatever we’ve posted there has also gone to Instagram. I’ve set up two-step authentication on Facebook and Instagram, so I don’t know how it happened.
“I then received a message that 13 dangerous posts from organizations had been posted on Instagram. The only reason I found out was four customers not showing up and I went to check the posts and didn’t could not.
“It cost me £200 in lost dates. About 80% of my business is through social media.
Kat has been running Katwalk Ink for eight years and has been in the tattoo industry for 26 years. She said her Instagram had already been hacked by someone trying to sell Bitcoin.
She said she received analytics from Facebook that showed visits to the page were down 26% in a matter of days.
She said: ‘The most frustrating thing is that they made it impossible to contact them. You bang your head against a wall. I created new accounts and phoned everyone I know in IT.
“When I log back in, I have a blank page. You go to help and support and it says, ‘You have posted messages that go against our standards.’
“He says, ‘If you think we made a mistake, you can disagree with our decision. But I’m stuck and I can’t. I tried to send in my driver’s license to prove who I am.”
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She continued: “Facebook has a duty of care to its customers. I’ve already lost £2,000.
“Usually we had 35 clients a week and last week we had 12. I have people there that I have no other way of contacting. I lose sleep over this. My hair is falling out. I’m stressed about this. I risk losing my business.
A public relations firm acting on behalf of Facebook said: “We have raised this issue internally for the team at Meta (Facebook’s parent company) to review as soon as possible.”
Kat is the sixth person and the third company to have been blocked by Facebook in recent weeks, for similar issues. Charges are brought against posts that go against the social media giant’s community standards, accounts are frozen and, in some cases, they are shut down and disappear.
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