On Saturday, The Hill reported that Facebook, the social media giant appropriately named the “world’s most dangerous censor,” slapped evangelist Franklin Graham with a 24-hour ban over a 2016 post about North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom” bill.
According to The Hill:
The (Facebook) spokesperson said that Graham was mistakenly banned from the site due to the contents of a post he shared in 2016 for violating a company policy banning “dehumanizing language” and excluding people based on factors like sexual orientation and race.
The representative went on to say that the mistake was made by the company’s content review team – which is comprised of 15,000 members – and that the company has since restored Graham’s account and the post in question.
The company has said it will also apologize to the administrator of Graham’s Facebook page, according to the spokesperson.
Graham discussed the ban on his Facebook page:
Well, now we know. Facebook has a secret rulebook for policing speech. I was banned from posting on Facebook last week for 24 hours. Why? Because of a post from back in 2016 about North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (the bathroom bill). Facebook said the post went against their “community standards on hate speech.” Facebook is trying to define truth. There was a character in a movie a few years back who said, “The truth is what I say it is!” That’s what Facebook is trying to do. They’re making the rules and changing the rules. Truth is truth. God made the rules and His Word is truth. Actually, Facebook is censoring free speech. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.
He also copied the original April 2016 post:
“Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay rights activist, has cancelled his North Carolina concert. He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going “backwards instead of forwards.” Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands. Back to common sense. Mr. Springsteen, a nation embracing sin and bowing at the feet of godless secularism and political correctness is not progress. I’m thankful North Carolina has a governor, Pat McCrory, and a lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, and legislators who put the safety of our women and children first! HB2 protects the safety and privacy of women and children and preserves the human rights of millions of faith-based citizens of this state.”
As we and others reported, a copy of Facebook’s rules for monitoring and censoring speech were obtained by the New York Times, which characterized them as having “numerous gaps, biases and outright errors” in the way moderators determine what speech is considered appropriate for the platform.
Incidents like this, by the way, were the inspiration for “Banned: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad,” a book published in 2016 by this writer and American-Israeli Adina Kutnicki.
GOP Rep. Louis Gohmert has introduced a measure that would effectively strip companies like Facebook of their protection from liability, currently granted in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Additionally, the Stop Social Media Censorship Act is being considered by state lawmakers. If passed, the measure would grant users a private right of action in the event of political or religious censorship.
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