Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Graham

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Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Graham

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:25 pm

Stephen often posts history in the making here, so I hope this will be an appropriate location for this bit of history/news.
Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Graham for 24 hours

Facebook is apologizing to evangelist Franklin Graham for banning him from posting on the site for 24 hours last week, a Facebook spokesperson told The Charlotte Observer on Saturday.

It was a mistake to ban Graham over a 2016 post he made on the site, and a mistake to have taken down the post, the spokesperson said.

Facebook has restored the 2016 post and will apologize in a note to the administrator of Graham’s Facebook page, according to the Facebook spokesperson, who agreed to speak only on background, meaning without the spokesperson’s name.

Graham’s 2016 post focused on singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen canceling a North Carolina concert because of House Bill 2. [bathroom bill]
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:55 pm

“He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going ‘backwards instead of forwards,’” Graham said in his 2016 post, referring to Springsteen. “Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands.”

Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/livin ... rylink=cpy


I don't see a reason to ban the post. But I also am hard pressed to find any scriptural reference to his and hers bathrooms. I don't have them in my house. And they certainly aren't common everywhere in Europe. I was at the Cliff's of Mohr in Ireland and the restroom there was non-gender specific. Everyone went into their own stall and did their own thing. As far as I can tell God's commands were not violated.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Haruo » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:06 pm

Everybody knows God only uses the men's room. That's foundational.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:27 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:I don't see a reason to ban the post.
Agree. Graham's word were political and moral opinion -- not hate speech -- regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees. It also seems odd that they banned him, if they thought he needed to be, two years after the fact rather in 2016 when he posted it.
Tim Bonney wrote:But I also am hard pressed to find any scriptural reference to his and hers bathrooms. I don't have them in my house.
We have only one bathroom in our home. Everyone has to use it. On the other hand, people use it one at a time, it is not a common bathroom designed for several people to use at once (as are many public restrooms).

Back to Facebook moderation, they are a private company, so in my opinion they do not have to allow everyone to say whatever they want in "their house." They have content moderators who review content (most likely when it is reported to them or is high profile stuff/people, but that is just my guess). While I believe that Facebook however they wish, I think they give an appearance of allowing "freedom of speech" while they really are not.

Folks like us might fly under the Facebook radar more so than a highly recognizable name like Franklin Graham. However, if we did happen to rile the powers that be it likely would be much harder tow the account reinstated.

Either Facebook believes their content moderator was in error, or they bowed to pressure because of who was involved. Hopefully the former.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:35 am

The way the issue of bathrooms was handled in Ireland is that you walk into a single room with stalls. All the stalls have a full sized door without gaps on the sides, top or bottom. Everyone washes their hands at the same sinks but everyone has privacy in their individual stall. Europeans tell me that they think that US single gender bathrooms are set up very strangely because our bathroom stalls lack any of the usual privacy they expect and get even in non-gender specific in bathrooms.

When I was in Israel, a very conservative nation, it was not at all unusual for the cleaning lady to be in the mens room while men were using the urinals. Basically Americans have the bathroom hang ups and nutters like Franklin Graham exploit our general prudishness.

I don’t care what person is in a bathroom stall as long as they flush before it is my turn to use it.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:21 am

Tim Bonney wrote:The way the issue of bathrooms was handled in Ireland is that you walk into a single room with stalls. All the stalls have a full sized door without gaps on the sides, top or bottom. Everyone washes their hands at the same sinks but everyone has privacy in their individual stall. Europeans tell me that they think that US single gender bathrooms are set up very strangely because our bathroom stalls lack any of the usual privacy they expect and get even in non-gender specific in bathrooms.

When I was in Israel, a very conservative nation, it was not at all unusual for the cleaning lady to be in the mens room while men were using the urinals. Basically Americans have the bathroom hang ups and nutters like Franklin Graham exploit our general prudishness.
Ultimately we're not in Europe or Israel. Single stalls basically solve the issue, in my opinion, but others have different opinions. I stay out of my single stall bathroom at my house when someone else is in it, and think we should be able manage that on a wider level.
Tim Bonney wrote:I don’t care what person is in a bathroom stall as long as they flush before it is my turn to use it.
That, and don't pee on the lid as I may need to sit on it.

Really, though, this thread was not intended to be about "bathroom bills" and bathroom use, but Facebook and its possible heavy-handedness in banning speech they don't like. As I said, as a private company they have the right to set the standards of speech on their own media. On the other hand, it seems those like Facebook who purport to offer a forum for speech out to be clear in their rules and fair in their application of them. We here at Baptist Life are allowed to express a wide variety of opinions without being censored or banned. On my own blog, I don't regulate the comments (not that I get that many). I don't censor, and only delete those that are obviously unrelated to the discussion at hand -- which usually is a spam link.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Sandy » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:58 am

This is the sort of thing that gets inflated into persecution and made an example of the deliberate "liberal bias" of the media and the coming persecution of the church, specifically conservative, "Bible believing", gospel preaching churches, not necessarily the liberal kind.

Franklin Graham has allowed his political opinion to interfere with his stated gospel mission and ministry and has to deal with the consequences of that. But this doesn't cross a boundary into "hate speech."
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:59 am

Rvaughn wrote:
Really, though, this thread was not intended to be about "bathroom bills" and bathroom use, but Facebook and its possible heavy-handedness in banning speech they don't like.


Yes, you are right, the thread is about Facebook. Facebook makes moderation mistakes. But at the same time there is a huge amount of offensive material on Facebook. My daughter's church some time back had an event at their church that was LGBTQ friendly and a far right wing blogger discovered it, encouraged her followers to troll the church's Facebook page and these "Christians" wrote horrible insulting and vile things on the church's Facebook page which actually caused the need to involve local law enforcement to watch out for the church during the event.

Honestly Franklin has said things much more offensive in public than what he posted on this Facebook post. He walks the fine line of being offensive pretty often. He isn't much like his father. So I'm honestly more surprised that it was this post that got him crosswise with Facebook and not some of his more disturbing material.

Some things should be censored.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:38 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:Yes, you are right, the thread is about Facebook. Facebook makes moderation mistakes. But at the same time there is a huge amount of offensive material on Facebook. My daughter's church some time back had an event at their church that was LGBTQ friendly and a far right wing blogger discovered it, encouraged her followers to troll the church's Facebook page and these "Christians" wrote horrible insulting and vile things on the church's Facebook page which actually caused the need to involve local law enforcement to watch out for the church during the event.
Did Facebook as an entity, through its content moderators, do anything about it so far as censoring, banning, or the like?

Tim Bonney wrote:Honestly Franklin has said things much more offensive in public than what he posted on this Facebook post. He walks the fine line of being offensive pretty often. He isn't much like his father. So I'm honestly more surprised that it was this post that got him crosswise with Facebook and not some of his more disturbing material.

Some things should be censored.
I agree in principle that there are things that need to be censored. We should tread lightly in regard to censoring political and religious speech, and be wary of those who wish to do so. If we don't protect speech we don't like, speech we like might some day not be protected either.

I'm not one easily offended or disturbed. I participate in various groups on Facebook and other places. On some of them there are always people who are getting offended, whining about something, and asking moderators to step in "do something." I guess I'm just different in that regard. When I read something I don't like I either move on with life, and answer it with my opinion.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Haruo » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:52 pm

I have a high threshold of tolerance of offensive speech, myself. Facebook is thoroughly unpredictable on this, and I think part of it is the dependence (on the part of FB and many other Internet forums) on humanly unsupervised algorithms.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:06 pm

Rvaughn wrote: Did Facebook as an entity, through its content moderators, do anything about it so far as censoring, banning, or the like?


I do not know if Facebook took actions towards any individuals. They generally don't inform other customers of banning actions beyond thanking you for the report. But the comments were so disturbing that the police found it advisable to patrol around the church during the activity. Besides the hateful speech online the church's answering machine was flooded with hate speech and my daughter ended up being the one to field most of those messages.

There is a big difference between people with thin skin whining to moderators on the internet and hate speech. It is usually pretty clear. Facebook as a private entity has no obligation to allow bigots to post and honestly carries a fair amount of liability of they do.

I moderate (with four other clergy) a large Facebook group for seminary grads (15,000+ members) and there are enough problem people even among seminary graduates that the moderation staff individually approves each post.
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Re: Facebook apologizes for banning evangelist Franklin Grah

Postby Rvaughn » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:40 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:I do not know if Facebook took actions towards any individuals. They generally don't inform other customers of banning actions beyond thanking you for the report. But the comments were so disturbing that the police found it advisable to patrol around the church during the activity. Besides the hateful speech online the church's answering machine was flooded with hate speech and my daughter ended up being the one to field most of those messages.
Thanks. I was curious how their response might compare to their response to Graham, but I suppose there is really no way of knowing if those banned don't comment on it.
Tim Bonney wrote:There is a big difference between people with thin skin whining to moderators on the internet and hate speech. It is usually pretty clear.
No disagreement there, with the caveat that some people confuse the issue by calling speech they disagree with hate speech, as seems happened with Graham's post.

My point about the thin skin whining was not that it somehow compares to hate speech, but that it can result in someone being banning because of the whiner whining to a moderator. I've seen it happen in a Facebook group.
Haruo wrote:Facebook is thoroughly unpredictable on this, and I think part of it is the dependence (on the part of FB and many other Internet forums) on humanly unsupervised algorithms.
That probably explains a lot.
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Billy's 95th birthday

Postby Stephen Fox » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:39 pm

Franklin's guests were Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, and Donald Trump. Read the Battle Lines chapter of Jill Lepore's These Truths.

Franklin Graham is an unwitting soul molester.
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