Facebook has made an executive decision to un-publish a page on their social media site that openly opposes homosexuality and abortion.
According to Facebook, the fan page for the pre-denominational Christian ministry “Warriors for Christ” has been unpublished because it violated the company’s community standards on hate speech and bullying.
Warriors for Christ is a ministry from West Virginia that is staunchly opposed to sinful behavior of any kind. The focus of the page, which has over 225,000 followers, is often used by Pastor Rich Penkoski to promote their video ministry and to make posts that show their disapproval of agendas such as LGBT rights and abortion.
Their Facebook page was originally unpublished on December 29, 2017, but was reinstated four days later January 2, 2018 due to an online petition that requested that Facebook make the page live again. The republishing was short lived, as Facebook again removed the Warriors for Christ on January 5, 2018.
Pastor Penkoski said his organization are victims of censorship by Facebook over their Christian beliefs due to complaints against Warriors for Christ from LGBT activists that follow their social media page.
“We can’t even use the term ‘LGBT’ in any context whatsoever or else it immediately gets flagged and banned. If we type those four letters out in our page, it gets removed,” explained Penkoski.
In addition, Penkoski said there have been many other Facebook posts and videos that have been removed from their page, including posts that show the organization’s opposition to abortion.
The pastor is perplexed as to why the focus seems to be on homosexuality.
“We count our posts on the page. Out of 3,000 posts, less than 3 percent had to with LGBT issues, yet, homosexuality is the focus that everyone keeps talking about with us. We talk about abortion. We talk about adultery. We talk about fornication. Nobody ever talks about that stuff,” said Penkoski.
When the Warriors for Christ Facebook page was first unpublished on December 29, Penkoski received no explanation for the cancellation, however he was notified via email with an explanation of why he was unpublished on January 5. He was not offered an appeal process to question the decision.
When Penkoski tried to get more information from Facebook about the removal, he was simply directed to their policies on bullying and hate speech. The policy states that pages/content is removed if it “attacks” people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender and gender identity. It also says that pages that “identify and shame private individuals,” and repeatedly target other people with unwanted friend requests or messages will be reprimanded.
“We don’t tolerate bullying or harassment,” the letter continued. “We allow you to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them.”
Penkoski said that the Warriors for Christ page does not target private individuals.
“These are not violations of community standards,” he said. “Facebook may not like it, but it is not a violation of anything. It is not hurtful. It is not obscene. It’s not attacking. It’s not threatening. We are Christians. We don’t do that.”
“We specifically ask Facebook, what exact standards of yours did we violate? People have seen what has happened to us with the death threats and everything else. That’s actual hate speech — calling for the death of someone else. I don’t care who does it. If you are Christian or not, that is hate speech.”
~ 1776 Christian