My recent interaction with Facebook confirmed what many have already observed: You can mock Jesus and the Christian faith on Facebook in the crudest and ugliest terms without penalty (as you’ll see in a moment, I do mean “crudest and ugliest”), but if you dare post something that is considered offensive to LGBT members, you could very well be punished.
To recap briefly, earlier this month , on two consecutive days, Facebook deleted the page for my book A Queer Thing Happened to America for alleged violation of community standards. The first time it was removed, Facebook told me that it was deleted accidentally; when it happened again (the very next day, with a stern warning sent to my colleague who had created the page), I emailed documentation to Facebook, showing them where at least one gay Facebook group had targeted my page.
Several hours later, with sincere apologies from my contact at Facebook, the page was restored and I was assured that the complaints of a few people should not be able to take a page down. For this I am grateful, but my serious concerns about censorship and double standards remain.
After all, in March, Facebook was the first social media company to be honored by GLAAD (most accurately described as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement), largely because of Facebook’s Network of Support (NOS), through which “Facebook partners with GLAAD; MTV; the Human Rights Campaign (HRC); the Trevor Project; the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN); and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).”
Can anyone tell me with a straight face that Facebook’s partnership with some of the biggest gay activist organizations in the world (and MTV) does not indicate a strong gay bias and, as a corollary, a strong, anti-conservative Christian bias? Can anyone believe they are impartial?
Facebook states that it “does not tolerate hate speech,” explaining, “While we encourage the discussion of ideas, institutions, events, and practices, it is a serious violation of our terms to single out individuals based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or disease.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.