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Facebook Censorship

I use Facebook daily. In fact, I am on Facebook pretty much all day. That is my job. I post to Facebook for Patheos and I keep my eye out for best practices and new ideas.

Today, I got a HUGE fail whale. Facebook wouldn't let me log in this afternoon because of "site maintenance." In the middle of the day? That's weird.

But then I saw this blog - On Facebook Deactivations

That makes me nervous, people. I post regularly about religion (granted, it's mostly mine and then the Patheos content on the Patheos page but still...) I like the fact that users have the power to get rid of abusive users or hate groups (like these - Hatred of Jews on Facebook, Does Facebook Hate Israel, or "ALL BIG NOSED JEWS DIE I HATE YOU ALL!!!!GAS SHOWERS FOR ALL JEWS!!!!!HITLER YOU ARE GOD!!!DEATH TO ALL JEWS BURN BURN BURN" - kinda messed up, right?) but to take off users because there is a collective of people out there that are mad because some people have left their faith?

This is an issue near and dear to my heart as a Community Manager. I had to develop processes and terms of use for Patheos when I first came on board so I could manage the community functions on the site. I know things get heated on CNN or ESPN forums but on a site dedicated to providing a balanced view on religion and spirituality... yeah, we were pretty sure it would devolve into nasty. Thankfully we haven't had too much of that, yet, but Facebook needs to evaluate how they are going to manage complaints without stripping a ton of people of their FB accounts or letting people be abused.

Something is just wrong here. And there is a fine line between expressing your opinion or belief and being hateful. You can express your faith or belief without using hate speech. When censorship dips it's quill into a scary inkwell and starts eliminating innocents along with the guilty, people start to get more mad.

What a sad world when you have to defend from hate with one hand and hold off big brother with the other.

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