UPDATE: After some explanation on my part, the higher-ups at Facebook have restored my access, so thank to them.
I am one of the moderators of the Global Secular Humanist Movement Facebook page, which gives me the right to put up posts (I don’t really moderate). It’s a popular page, with over 300,000 “likes,” but it’s not popular with some Muslims, who have reported us several times for “violating community standards”. In one instance that results in both the GSHM site being blocked but the personal FB page of every moderator. The posts that supposedly do that are criticisms of Islam—never the other faiths that we regularly criticize. I should add that we have many positive posts as well, including pro-science ones and ones that criticize, for example, Republicans.
When I logged onto Facebook this morning, I found the messages below, telling me that we had been reported for violating FB’s community standards, and that the situation wouldn’t be rectified until I checked the entire page, de-published the site, and then re-published it. I have no right to do that, nor would I, for I don’t run the site Here’s what was seen as offensive and what I was supposed to do about it:
I didn’t post that image, and, as far as I can interpret it, it actually defends Muslims against prejudice on the grounds of their religion. In other words, it is pro-Islam, anti-bigotry, and doesn’t make fun of Catholics, either. How could this possibly be construed to violate community standards? Who would have reported it?
And here’s what I’m supposed to do about it.
I’m not sure about this, but I’ve heard rumors that when a post is reported in this way, a group of people outside the US decides what is a violation of community standards, and often reflexively blocks anything reported. Let me add that this is just a rumor I’ve heard, and I can’t vouch for its truth. Nevertheless, to get back on Facebook—I’ve been blocked before—you have to go through a long appeal process. This time I’m asking some higher-ups to review the issue.
But Facebook really should have a look at the double standards that have prevailed: anti-Islam posts (I can only imagine that the above post was mistaken for one of those) are regularly cause for blocking, while entire sites are devoted to not only anti-Israel sites, but sites that are allowed to publish anti-Semitic cartoons worthy of der Stürmer.
Whatever the issue, the item removed from our site seem to be a protest against anti-Muslim bigotry, not cause for violating anyone’s sensibilities.