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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Facebook blocks Right to Life group’s advertising, reactivates after media reports

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

McBAIN, Michigan, November 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Facebook has censored another pro-life organization’s advertising account.

Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life, an affiliate of Right to Life of Michigan, discovered the shutdown last month when they tried to “boost” a post. Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life president Teresa Fenby told LifeSiteNews the social media giant gave no notice, no explanation, and no instructions on restoring the account.

The group asked Facebook officials what prompted their hack but received only a generic response. Finally, they were told,

“There’s no further action you may take here.

We don’t support ads for your business model. 

Please consider this decision final.” --Facebook

The internet phenomenon, which currently has 2.07 billion active users, only restored the Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life account after media scrutiny. The Detroit News and Mlive ran stories on the Facebook censorship, and in the course of investigating made calls to the networking giant.

Then, without explanation, Facebook reinstated the account.

“We don’t understand,” Fenby told LifeSiteNews. “We’re a small group and don’t have the funding, so we couldn’t do it on our own. We appreciate the newspapers going to bat for us.”

It’s the third time Facebook has banned pro-lifers in Michigan. Similarly, Facebook cancelled Right to Life Michigan’s account twice before and only restored it under public pressure.

“Facebook’s self-described mission is to ‘give people the power to build community.’ It’s hard to do that when community organizations have tools taken away from them without an explanation,” Right to Life of Michigan president Barbara Listing said.  “Unfortunately, many local organizations don’t have the resources we did to demand an explanation and receive a solution.”

Facebook never contacted Right to Life of Michigan to explain why or how the April censorship occurred, and it also has not reached out to Wexford/Missaukee Right to Life to explain their “mistake,” Fenby confirms.

Right to Life of Michigan’s ad account was disabled a second time in May, but a message with a link to The Detroit News exposure got it right back.

“Facebook only appears to respond to media attention to fix what they claim is a simple mistake,” Right to Life of Michigan president Barbara Listing said. “We achieved no results working through Facebook’s customer service department and the Better Business Bureau.”

Right to Life spokesman Chris Gast told Mlive that it seems Facebook is targeting pro-life groups “because of content that really isn’t objectionable.” “For the life of me, I can’t understand why Facebook isn’t being transparent and just working with its customers,” he said.

“Are these bans automated? Does a human being respond to questions from users?” Listing asked. “Does Facebook think they can get away with censoring smaller pages and users because they can’t draw attention? These are questions Facebook must respond to if they truly want to build community trust.”

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