When Facebook first started, I saw no reason to get involved with it, since most of the posts seemed totally irrelevant. Who cares what cereal someone ate this morning?
But once I saw that it could be a powerful ministry tool – as well as a way for people to connect socially, which is also fine – I began to use it regularly.
Today, with the hard work of some key team members, our Facebook reach has increased dramatically, to the point that earlier this month, we reached 8.6 million people with our posts while actively engaging 675 thousand people.
But last weekend, Facebook staff made a very serious blunder which had the effect of taking the air out of the balloon – our momentum had been building for months, and our team was working very hard to edify and encourage and challenge and inform through our posts.
This past Friday night, August 22nd, I went to get on Facebook and to my shock saw I was blocked from doing so with the notice that one of our posts had been removed since it violated community standards, and I had to review those standards before being allowed to log in.
This was the post that was removed:
Seriously? This violated their standards? (If you can’t see the text clearly, it lists different terrorists who were Muslims, carries the caption, “Islam, a religion of peace,” and then has a comment from me, where I recognize that many Muslims renounce this violence but ask why Islam is so associated with violence worldwide.)
We have lodged several complaints with Facebook over the last 12 months because of horrifically ugly Facebook pages (not just posts), including pages calling for violence against Israel and pages with the most blasphemous, mocking, anti-Jesus imagery and titles you could imagine. (They’re far too ugly to post here.) And each time we were informed that the pages did not, in fact, violate their community standards. Yet this post on Islam, which was factual and asked a fair question at the end, was removed?
I immediately wrote to a contact person I have at Facebook, informing her about this and copying some of horrific pages that I just mentioned, asking how those did not violate community standards while this one did.
I also pointed her to an “I Do Hate Israel” Facebook page and copied one of the pictures that was on that page:
Yes, this graphic was not in violation of Facebook’s community standards, but our post on Islam was? Really?
Facebook even allows a page entitled, Islam the Jihad Religion!
To my surprise, I received a reply from Facebook on Saturday, saying that our post had been removed in error, with an apology.
My hunch is that because it had gone viral – reaching 5 million people – that it received lots of complaints, prompting someone there to remove it without any valid reason.
Either way, because of the Facebook error, it led to another error (this was one was accidental), causing our entire page to be unpublished from Saturday night until Sunday afternoon, and suddenly, our reach plummeted to about one-third or even one-quarter of what it had been.
Something happened when the post got pulled and then our page became inaccessible, and at present, Facebook hasn’t been willing to do what it can to help us regain the momentum we worked so hard to achieve for so many months.
If you’d like to help us push against this serious Facebook error, one which I do not believe we could have corrected without having a direct contact person there, there’s something very simple you can do: Please like and share this post, and for the next week especially, if you find a post that really speaks to you, do your best to share it with your Facebook friends.
That should help us regain the momentum that was lost.
Also, so we don’t have to rely on Facebook, if you want to stay in touch with our ministry and be informed of my latest articles or videos or special messages or special resource offers or important speaking engagements, please sign up for our email list here.
Thanks for your time and your interest, and be assured that together, we are making a big difference and touching many lives!