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15th July 2020

In_pictures Doncaster baby owl webcam ‘banned by Facebook over sex and nudity rule’

In_pictures Doncaster baby owl webcam ‘banned by Facebook over sex and nudity rule’

In_pictures

in_pictures Graham MossImage copyright
Graham Moss

Image caption

Graham Moss set up the live stream of the owls as a Covid-19 lockdown project

Video of nesting baby owls was temporarily removed by Facebook for apparently breaking rules on nudity and sexual activity, the page’s owner said.

The live stream was set up by Graham Moss, who started sharing cute pictures of the owls in his Doncaster garden during the coronavirus lockdown.

He claimed his Brockholes Wildlife Diary’s (sic) page was blocked despite having no inappropriate content.

While the page has been reinstated Mr Moss has yet to receive an explanation.

Facebook said it was “currently investigating the removal of this post”.

A spokesman added: “If people believe their content has been removed in error, they can appeal be clicking the ‘Request Review’ option.”

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Mr Moss said more than 500 people had been enjoying his stream and footage, and described its temporary removal as “ridiculous”.

The live stream was removed twice, for about 48 hours each time.

He said he had tried to contact Facebook but had not been able to reach anyone.

“I went on to my site to see how many visits the adult owls had been making into the box to feed the chicks, and the footage had gone,” he said.

“In its place was a message stating the stream had been removed because it breached community standards on adult nudity and sexual activity.”

Image copyright
Graham Moss

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The nesting box is on his land in Doncaster

Mr Moss, who has been self-isolating since 5 March, set up the webcams to enable others to see something “they wouldn’t normally see”.

A second page, monitoring kestrels, has been unaffected, he said.

“When they took the streams off, the site was awash with comments, it was unbelievable.

“Facebook gave me two options, either to agree with the decision or disagree, so obviously I disagreed.

“I thought it would sort itself out and they would see it for what it is: a wildlife site filled with badgers, foxes and whatever.

“It’s crazy. The only thing I can imagine is that somebody has maliciously reported the site, I can’t even begin to imagine why.”

There were originally six chicks but four died when their parents were unable to hunt in the wet and windy conditions.

Image copyright
Graham Moss

Image caption

Six owls hatched but only two survive due to hunting problems in the windy weather

Image copyright
Graham Moss

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The owls were ringed by the British Trust for Ornithology

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