A Corrimal photographer has had his creative wings clipped by Facebook after seemingly falling prey to a saboteur.
For two months, someone has been flagging Brad Chilby’s photographs as abusive, or spam, he says.
The photographs are of landscapes.
Now Facebook has suspended the tools that allowed Mr Chilby to share and tag his work, and warned that if the complaints continue after 15 days, the restrictions will be permanent.
Mr Chilby, 30, said he had sent at least 10 emails protesting at the decision, but had been ignored by the social media giant.
He said his case highlighted the vulnerability of Facebook users, and their lack of recourse.
‘‘I could go to any competitor’s business and do the same thing,’’ he said.
‘‘[Small businesses] are completely vulnerable to a troll and you can’t contact Facebook to defend yourself.
‘‘I think it’s appalling. They’ve got billions of users worldwide and they need to protect them better. I’m very wary of Facebook now.’’
Mr Chilby built up over 3300 Facebook followers in two years.
He regularly shares his work with a small number of Facebook groups – mostly tourism bodies – and tags certain locations, such as ‘‘Illawarra’’. He said such interaction was with the permission of the other party, and more often at their request.
A sales representative, he spends his spare time shooting landscapes, and can easily devote six hours a night to his website and Facebook work in the hope it will one day lead to a career in the industry.
‘‘I probably spend more hours on it than [on] my full-time job,’’ he said. ‘‘I absolutely love it.’’
Mr Chilby is worried his prospects will suffer without the exposure he has gained on Facebook.
He received about 200 messages of support on his page late yesterday. Many have shared his photos, as he no longer can.