The English #Football club Notts County have taken the drastic step of blocking a whole nation from contacting them on their #Facebook page. At first sight it might sound like an extreme stance to take, especially for an organisation that wants to encourage its fan base around the world to potentially encourage future revenue streams from abroad. However, the football team decided that they had little option after a deluge of messages from Hungarians.
The trouble began shortly after they had signed the 24-year-old Hungarian striker Balint Bajner from fellow English club Ipswich Town, on Tuesday. Once the news was made known, the club's Facebook page became deluged with posts that featured comments relating to the player. The 'trigger' for the comments seems to be related to his previous employers, Ipswich, as their page was similarly inundated with comments back in August last year, after the club had dropped the player from the side. The repetitive message sent then and now was "No Bajner, no party!" as it clearly greatly annoyed the Hungarians for some reason at the time.
The meaning now is less clear, given that he has only just joined the club, but could be either a general 'warning' not to follow Ipswich's lead and to drop him again or it could (more likely) just be a bit of fun by Bajner's Hungarian fans, which is how County originally viewed the posts. They have now decided that enough is enough though and have decided on more severe action to stop the messages coming in.
Monitoring the amount of traffic on the site, County's head of media Jamie Dixon determined that there had been around 1,700 new likes in just two days, far more than ever before since their Facebook page had been launched. There was a response to any news posted by the club almost instantly featuring the 'Balint Bajner' related messages and the numbers grew out of control. After taking no firm action to see how things developed after initial amusement at the responses, they decided that the messages were obscuring the Facebook experience for other visitors.
Initial efforts to control the flow of messages (traffic) involved screening out those including key words, but that had little or no effect in stemming the flow, so they resorted to the more draconian approach. As administrators for the site they have the option of blocking content that they receive from particular parts of the world, so for now at least, Hungary has been 'blocked'.
The club will continue to monitor the traffic and hope that this will be a temporary measure until things settle down, as clearly they would prefer some interaction with the player's home land now that he is playing for their club. In the meantime, they have set up a specific "Hungarian Magpies" page that seems to be proving popular and diverting (they hope) some of the traffic received to that instead of the main club page.
As for the striker himself, Bajner seems to have taken his home country's interest in him in "good humour". For such a young man, Bajner has already developed into something of a 'journeyman', having previously played for a number of clubs both abroad and in Britain, including FC Sopron, Liberty Oradea, West Ham, Borussia Dortmund and Ipswich Town. While at Borussia he played in the Bundesliga, the top German league. #Social mediaBlocking an individual on Facebook is something that people do from time to time, when they have either fallen out with someone or simply no longer want them to contact them anymore. It basically 'unfriends' them and stops them from starting conversations or seeing content posted by that individual. In an individual's case, they can drop the block by re-inviting them to become friends again.