Did Facebook make a simple blunder or was it a deliberate act to censor conservative views on the social media network?
That’s the big question many conservative Christians are asking after Facebook recently blocked the trailer to Kirk Cameron’s new film Unstoppable.
While most Christian movie enthusiasts are familiar with Cameron, those who view mainly secular movies might not know about him.
Well, he was the star of the 1980s television show Growing Pains. Since that time he has starred in numerous faith-based films, including the very popular Left Behind films. More recently he was featured in the documentary, Monumental, which presented the Founding Fathers of America and the biblical principles which guided them as they led the infant nation.
Kirk Cameron is now a well-known Christian producer, actor and evangelist.
So did the people at Facebook (including YouTube) make an honest mistake last week when they removed the Unstoppable trailer?
Cameron certainly didn’t see it as a mistake. The Huttington Post reports: “On July 18, Cameron took to his Facebook page to alert fans that links to the website for Unstoppable had been blocked by the social network for allegedly being “abusive”, “unsafe” and “spammy”. The following day, he announced YouTube had done the same and had blocked the Unstoppable trailer because it was considered “spam”, a “scam” and “deceptive”.
Cameron considers the film to be his most personal one about “faith, hope and love, and about why God allows bad things to happen to good people”. He asked his friends to tell others about the censorship in an effort to encourage Facebook to unblock his website. And it worked; the site is back up!
Facebook, through its communications manager, Michael Kirkland, later explained: “From what we can tell, the address purchased for the movie was previously being used as a spam site and it hadn’t been refreshed in our system yet. We were in direct contact with Kirk’s team on this and reversed the block as soon as we confirmed that the address was no longer being used for spam” (www.huffingtonpost.com).
Now if Cameron’s site was the only Christian one which had been blocked, then Facebook’s explanation could be more easily believed. But recently, other hosts of conservative sites have found themselves targets of bans by Facebook, and also YouTube.
Some believe that Facebook is actually “targeting conservatives” and that there are “liberals who are hellbent on silencing conservatives and are trolling conservative pages and reporting specific posts … and with enough complaints the pages are then shut down” (article, Facebook Threatens to Shut Down Conservative Site www.radio.foxnews.com).
If these actions are merely mistakes as Facebook claims, then how do they explain some very lewd and offensive sites that are always up and running?
Take for example the “Kill Mitt Romney” pages that remained unblocked during the presidential election! Then there are others which are too obscene to mention here.
To be sure it seems that the social media networks are not friendly to Christians and other conservatives. They are practicing a new kind of Internet bullying. It’s another kind of subtle persecution, where anyone can express his/her views, religion and lifestyle – just don’t let these be Christian!
Look what happened to Todd Starnes’ book, Dispatches From Bitter America earlier this year.
The Fox News Radio host experienced similar persecution to that of Cameron when Amazon temporarily pulled his book after it was “subjected to an orchestrated attack on Amazon by liberal critics who posted a series of fake reviews – driving down the book’s ratings (article, Amazon Won’t Explain Why Conservatives Book Was Suspended www.radio.foxnews.com).
The book is presently back on Amazon after a national outcry by conservative- and evangelical-minded Americans, who believe it had been banned because the book examines the Obama Adminstraton’s war on religious liberty!
* Please note that His World Agenda will be in short recess during the summer. It will resume on August 26, 2013.