The novel about the complicated relationship of two male teenagers in the 1980s was published in 2008 and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Yesterday, Polito issued a statement to the blog, saying Facebook had told him, “A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook's features could result in the permanent loss of your account.”
In a statement to The Advocate, Polito says the Facebook page was created in 2008, around the time the book was published, and had been on the site for almost two years before being removed.
"I had no trouble creating the page or claiming the URL facebook.com/bandfags," he says. "What bothers me about the whole Facebook thing is ... it's like they have some robot scanning through all of the pages on the site looking for 'offensive' words. When they came across 'fag' attached to mine, no one bothered to investigate why it's there. They just assumed that I'm some hateful gay-basher and took down my book's fan page."
Polito knew the title of his book would be considered controversial, but says,"As anyone who has read the book knows, in the story all kids in the band are called 'band fags,' not just the gay ones. But for the gay ones, the moniker especially stings because the 'fag' part is true."
Polito says he has contacted Facebook and filed an appeal that explains his circumstance, but as of Friday afternoon had not received a response.