Update: The group has now been restored to its previous state — thanks Facebook!

This morning, administrators of Grow up Australia’s Facebook group received a warning when they logged on to the website.

Group Removal Warning Message - Facebook

The group “Grow up Australia – R18+ Rating for Computer games”, of nearly 37,000 members, has been removed because it violated our Terms of Use.

While an R18+ classification for computer games in Australia may be considered a controversial issue, we do not believe that any of the content provided by the Administrators of the group in question could be deemed to violate the Terms of Use. Very rarely, an inappropriate comment would be posted by one of the members, however our group administrators have always been vigilant in moderating the group and removing any inappropriate posts or content.

We have regularly encouraged our members to report posts they deem to be inappropriate to Facebook, in the hope that Facebook would help us in removing offending posts that we are unable to deal with in a timely manner. The report function on Facebook’s site has been very useful in this regard.

We agree that Facebook needs to take an active role in removing groups that violate their Terms of Use, however we feel that they may have incorrectly reviewed our group as violating said terms. Currently, we are attempting to contact Facebook in regards to the issue, in hope to restore the group to its previous state.

In the interim we have created a fan page for our members to join.

You may also follow us for updates on Twitter.

In a radio interview on 2SER a Dr Christopher Ferguson has criticised the moral panic that is currently surrounding video games in Australia. (The interview can be listened to below.)

Last week Psychologist Dr Wayne Warburton was seen on Channel Ten claiming the link between video games and violent behavior is stronger than the link between smoking and lung cancer. According to the news report psychologists are claiming an “explosion in youth crime is inextricably linked to violent video games and other media.”

Earlier the same week the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) posted a media release on their website with the heading “Gaming industry mirrors ‘big tobacco’ in denial of violent gaming effects.” The ACL media release quotes a paper titled: Video game effects confirmed, suspected and speculative: A review of the evidence. One of the contributors to that paper is Craig Anderson who has often been criticised by his peers (notably Ferguson) for his methods.

Dr Christopher Ferguson has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida and is the co-author of: Much Ado About Nothing: The Misestimation and Overinterpretation of Violent Vido Game Effects in Eastern and Western Nations: Comment on Anderson et al. (2010)

The Channel Ten news report can be viewed here.