Facebook says ‘mistake’ led to ban of Christian mom who criticized homosexuality, but she’s not buying it
WARSAW, Ohio, February 27, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook has apologized to The Activist Mommy and restored her access, but Elizabeth Johnston is still upset with the social media platform for freezing her page in the first place over her posts on the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality.
“They apologized and said it was a mistake, but I don’t think it is sincere,” she told LifeSite News. “How can it be a mistake?”
As she told a sympathizer on her site, “They made it quite clear I violated their rules.”
“I have brothers and sisters who have been marginalized by Facebook,” she said. “My getting an apology from Facebook doesn’t solve the problem.”
Facebook also responded to LifeSiteNews. Public relations officer Arielle Argyres emailed to say, “Sorry for the delay on this – for your background, this was a mistake. Her posts should be restored and she should be able to use her account normally.”
Argyres has not responded to a follow-up question as to whether an algorithm or a human agent made the “mistake.”
Johnston told LifeSiteNews she received a short suspension when she quoted from the Old and New Testaments condemning homosexuality. When that suspension ended, she complained in a new post that repeated the Biblical passages Facebook had excised.
This drew a second excision and a seven-day freeze. In addition, there was an ominous warning. “People who repeatedly post things that aren’t allowed on Facebook may have their accounts permanently disabled.”
However, Johnston received coverage from LifeSite, Charisma, Fox News, and other media. The stories focused on how Facebook’s actions contrasted with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent claim to be politically impartial. The apology came shortly thereafter.
To Johnston, this demonstrates media savvy, not impartiality.
“Most victims of Facebook's arbitrary and biased censorship don't have the luxury of getting a media response. … I am on a mission to expose this and see it changed,” she said in a new post.
As glad as she is to reconnect with her 75,000 followers, Johnston is now taking up the cause of many conservative bloggers who contacted her after news stories began appearing. They had their own stories to tell.
“I talked to one group that Facebook shut down that had 3 1/2 million followers. Do you know how much work, how many posts it takes to get that many followers? It had to be devastating.”
Other conservative Facebook users experienced less obvious problems. Their “share” or “like” buttons went missing. Johnston said visitors to her page experienced something similar. Her buttons are visible but were not responsive.
“It says to me that Facebook wants to limit my influence because my ideology does not agree with Mark Zuckerberg’s,” she told LifeSiteNews.
The problem as she sees it is that Facebook does its best to reduce the reach of conservative and Christian users. The ultimate solution may well be found in alternative Christian or conservative social media platforms such as Gab, Plum and Freedom Vine, Johnston said.
But Facebook has nearly two billion monthly users.
“It’s an audience you can’t get anywhere else,” she said. “”It’s the only place you can go viral.”
Johnston suspects Facebook’s liberal censors first took notice of her after she blogged about the Women’s March on Washington.
“I mocked them and I got 11 million views,” she told LifeSiteNews. “I made a lot of people angry.”