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Absurd Censorship Attacks On Irr'S Facebook Page


Rob Bowman

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I am re-posting this here since a moderator said it should not have been posted in the Social Hall.

I thought some of you might be interested to know that there is evidently some sort of campaign by some Mormons to interfere with the Facebook pages of Christians engaged in what Mormons call "anti-Mormon" ministry. We have had content removed from our FB page that cannot by any reasonable standard be considered violations of FB's community standards. The penalties have been getting stiffer even as the censorship of "objectionable content" has gotten more absurd. Here is the most recent post that was removed from the Facebook page of the Institute for Religious Research:

That last post was from me, Rob Bowman, by the way. :)

That is the entirety of the post that was removed today, and the only post that was removed. For the above "violation" I have been banned from posting on FB for three days.

Similar attacks have been made against several evangelicals I know involved in other organizations. I and others are under threat of having our accounts permanently disabled.

So much for civil discourse.

I'd like to see some comments from Mormons here either denouncing such censorship or defending it. The "Community Standards" of FB clearly state that merely finding something with which one personally disagrees on someone's page is not a violation of their standards. Our page is characterized by extremely cordial discussion in which Mormons and non-Mormons participate with no problems. No one has ever posted a complaint or sent our organization a complaint about our FB page. Instead, someone is using FB's complaint system to sabotage our free expression.

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So you are accusing Mormons of censorship because FB is going after you?

Facebook's rules are pretty clear. You are obviously violating them....so what difference does it make if it is atheists, Catholics or Mormons informing them you are violating their rules?

I think it is a fair guess that your nonstop dismantling of Mormonism would fall under those two rules by any reasonable definition. But they have a hatespeech warning, too.

This reminds me of the stuff we faced on AOL.

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juliann,

Would you care to explain what is "bullying" or "hate speech" about the post FB removed for supposedly being objectionable?

So you are accusing Mormons of censorship because FB is going after you?

Facebook's rules are pretty clear. You are obviously violating them....so what difference does it make if it is atheists, Catholics or Mormons informing them you are violating their rules? And you really do need to provide minimal evidence that "some Mormons" are doing anything at all before continuing. It is a malicious accusation.

I think it is a fair guess that your nonstop dismantling of Mormonism would fall under those two rules by any reasonable definition. I think bullying is a rather apt description of what you do. But they have a hatespeech warning, too.

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Karma is a you know what.

I don't know which aspect Ron is referring to, but FAIR came about because AOL put the anti-Mormons in charge of all of the religion message boards (they also went after JW's , pagans and other undesirables). They didn't have to report us, they could give us TOS violations themselves. Three and you were out when AOL was pretty much the only game in town at the time. I got a violation for calling a virulent anti's post "junk". Meanwhile, they were engaging in a very vile version of anti-Mormonism with no consequences whatsoever. This was in the mid 90s when anti-Mormon ministries were in their hayday.

So cry me a river comes to mind. I don't believe for a second that Rob's open invitation to take down Mormonism results in a civil and cordial discussion on FB by those who like to do that anymore than inviting all comers to go after homosexuality could ever result in cordiality.

I am more interested in the perpetual sense of entitlement evidenced by this boohooing. FB can "censor" all they want...if they didn't there wouldn't be much left of it. Same nonsense with those that think a private message board should let anyone do whatever they want on it.

Sounds like CARM.

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juliann,

Would you care to explain what is "bullying" or "hate speech" about the post FB removed for supposedly being objectionable?

Nope. You are only choosing to give one example while complaining of a much larger conspiracy. Again, call for documentation that Mormons are controlling FB as well as support for the odd idea that FB has no moral right to control its own content.

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Sky,

You wrote:

It might help to know more about which content was removed and why. Otherwise it's hard to judge.

Simply presenting a view in disagreement with Mormonism isn't enough.

I gave you an example. It is the post that was supposedly the reason for banning me from FB for three days.

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Sky,

You wrote:

I gave you an example. It is the post that was supposedly the reason for banning me from FB for three days.

But I don't see anything objectionable about that particular post; surely there must be more going on here. Did Facebook give you a reason for banning you for three days?

Maybe you should address your concerns to Facebook?

Edited by Sky
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juliann,

I asked you if you would care to explain what was "bullying" or "hate speech" about the post that was removed from IRR's FB page. You wrote:

Nope. You are only choosing to give one example while complaining of a much larger conspiracy.

I didn't say anything about a conspiracy. I gave you the example that just happened today. It clearly has nothing objectionable in it, as you obviously recognize.

You wrote:

Again, call for documentation that Mormons are controlling FB as well as support for the odd idea that FB has no moral right to control its own content.

I didn't say that Mormons are controlling FB. I said that some Mormons are abusing the system that FB has set up for reporting objectionable content on FB pages. It's possible it is a Mormon who is also an employee at FB. It probably is not. I don't know. What I do know is that several of the evangelical ministries that include material disagreeing with Mormonism in their resources have had numerous blocks put on them on FB for posts that had nothing genuinely objectionable. The only plausible explanation is that one or more Mormons are causing this to happen, probably by flagging random posts on our pages as objectionable in order to censor us. If you have an alternative plausible explanation, preferably not one involving the CIA or extraterrestrials, I'm open to hearing it.

FB has published "community standards" that it says it regards as the rules of participation on FB. If posts do not genuinely violate those standards, then FB should not be removing those posts or blocking the accounts of people who post them. Again, I don't blame FB itself, though I wish they would respond to my messages complaining about the matter. I blame those who are abusing the system FB set up by flagging material as objectionable simply because they don't like what we are doing.

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Sky,

You wrote:

But I don't see anything objectionable about that particular post; surely there must be more going on here. Did Facebook give you a reason for banning you for three days?

Maybe you should address your concerns to Facebook?

I agree; there is nothing objectionable about that post. There have been other similarly benign posts that were removed. FB gave no reason other than that the post was supposedly a violation of its community standards. It did not specify which standard was violated. This has been the consistent pattern in all of these incidents. The communication from FB is a boiler-plate form page with no specific information other than reproducing without comment the post that was deemed objectionable.

I and several others have complained to FB about this practice repeatedly. The company has so far not responded. Perhaps we need to send them certified letters, maybe from an attorney, to get their attention. I don't know. But the matter is cut and dry; none of the posts that were removed contained anything that could reasonably be considered violations of the FB community standards.

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Jeremy,

Thank you also for your kind and fair-minded comment.

I can't stand censorship of any kind, even if it's "protecting" people from ideas I disagree with. ("I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", etc..) This kind of pettiness on anyone's part is ridiculous; I hope things get cleared up soon, Rob.

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