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While Angie Nwandu, the site’s founder, said she didn’t know why the page had been removed, a Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot on Tuesday that it had been taken down for copyright infringement.
“I monitor the page frequently and nothing was posted that violated any rules to my knowledge,” Nwandu told Nieman Lab on Monday. “We have been targeted on Facebook and have been receiving numerous reports over things that don’t violate the terms. The amount of reports have been excessive.”
But a Facebook spokesperson said Tuesday that the Shade Room’s page had violated the social media website’s community standards.
The Shade Room, which can appeal Facebook’s decision, did not respond when asked for comment on Monday night.
In 2014, the Shade Room began gaining popularity on Instagram, where it has 4.3 million followers. Eventually, it expanded to Facebook (where it has more than 4.4 million likes), Twitter (where it has more than 82,000 followers), and its own website.
Instagram briefly shuttered the Shade Room’s page 11 months ago, though the social-media site later called that a mistake. As BuzzFeed later reported, it appeared to be the work of an upset reality-TV star who had been photographed with someone who wasn’t her husband.
After its Facebook page was shuttered Monday, the Shade Room briefly made its Instagram page private.
Nwandu’s site isn’t always popular with the celebrities it covers. As she wrote on her website:
“At first, the purpose was purely entertainment. I came up with the name ‘The Shade Room’ because I wanted to share my honest opinion on Celebrity news. All too often, when people share their brutally honest opinions, it can be misconstrued as ‘shade.’ As a result, I wanted to embrace the word and redefine it. The Shade Room is really the ‘truth’ room where myself and the readers can express our honest opinions on certain topics. However, after we became more and more popular, the readers that we affectionately labeled ‘roommates,’ demanded more than just gossip. They wanted a little bit of community news, trending news, etc. They wanted more positivity and substance as well, and we found that it was important to provide more than just gossip, even though that is our primary focus!”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.