Posted Jun 26, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

The headline to this article is not sensationalistic. It is not click bait. It is truth. Shocking truth. Yes, Instagram has designated videos of live worship on the streets to be in violation of community guidelines, calling the content “harmful.” Let the outrage be felt and heard.

Sean Feucht is a worship leader and songwriter who recently ran for political office in California. He is also a conservative Christian.

On June 23 he tweeted, “This is what we’ve come to in America!

“Instagram is now classifying my WORSHIP videos as ‘harmful or false information’

“Religious Liberty? Freedom of Speech? Big Tech censorship?”

Included in the tweet was a screenshot from Instagram, explaining that the company had removed his video post because it was violation of Community Standards. (Oh, those dread community standards again!)

Specifically, Instagram stated, “Story removed for harmful or false information.”

What on earth does this mean? What can it possibly mean?

Feucht’s tweet got the attention of Missouri’s Senator Josh Hawley who tweeted, “Cancel culture meets #BigTech. Now @instagram is censoring a Christian worship leader who wants to post videos of praise and worship from places where there has recently been unrest. And that doesn’t meet ‘community standards’? Can’t wait to hear the explanation for this.”

As of this writing (late Thursday night, Eastern Time, June 25), we are still awaiting explanation.

A few years ago, I repeatedly challenged Facebook for censoring some of my posts for alleged violation of community standards, exposing the rank hypocrisy of their decisions.

For example, my factual, fairly-worded post dealing with LGBT issues would be deemed hateful, while the most blasphemous, unimaginably profane, anti-Christian Facebook pages were allowed to operate without restriction. Seriously?

Thankfully, in most cases, with the help of an internal contact, Facebook reinstated my posts (or, restored my status). But other colleagues of mine did not fare so well, having their pages permanently shut down for alleged violation of the dreaded (and oh so ambiguous) community standards.

It seems that “hate” meant one thing for one group and something entirely different for the other. (For a recent, video exposé, see here.)

When it comes to YouTube and Google, the battle continues, with large channels like Prager U still experiencing discrimination and unequal treatment. (Where are all the social justice warriors calling for equality? Somehow, they don’t seem to be raising their voices for Prager U.)

In my own experience, after having over 1,000 of my channel’s videos branded unsuitable for advertising in a single stroke (!), YouTube has actually been fair with me, even surprising me at times by what it approves for monetization. At the same time, we know that the other shoe could drop at any moment and suddenly, we could be banned.

It is a big mistake to put our trust in Big Tech.

What happened with Instagram, though, seems even more bizarre and extreme. What on earth were the all-powerful censors thinking?

There are endless videos on Instagram showing disturbing clips from the recent protests and riots, all of them somehow in conformity with community standards. (Right now, over on Twitter, I’m watching a video of the “CHOP” call from Seattle, with specific reference to guillotines. I imagine similar videos can be found on Instagram.)

But when a video is posted showing Christian worship in the midst of these protests, it is removed for alleged “harmful or false information.”

Since there is nothing “false” about the video, then it must be considered “harmful” – hence the headline to this article.

Is this actually what Instagram meant? Could they possibly be claiming that worshiping the Lord on the streets of our divided cities is harmful?

If so, I would encourage every worship leader and every worship team to hit the streets of their own communities, posting similar videos and sharing them as widely as possible, starting on Instagram. (Hey, it’s a great thing to do anyway and just what America needs.)

If Instagram has made a mistake, I hope they own up to it and say, “We totally blew it! There is no excuse.” Otherwise, this means war – as in spiritual war.

So, no hatred. No carnal aggression. No fleshly anger. And, of course, of course, of course, no violence.

But lots of prayer. Lots of worship. Lots of preaching. And lots of standing up and being heard. If not now, then when?

Ironically, as if to drill the point home, as I was writing this article, I spotted another tweet from Sen. Hawley from a few hours ago. He wrote, “Now @Twitter is actively censoring Bible verses? Seriously? Why?”

Hawley retweeted another tweet from Sean Feucht, stating, “Not only is big tech blocking worship videos, now they’re blocking Bible verses about PEACE!  

“RT if you believe social media needs more peace, more worship, and less censorship of Jesus followers.”

Feucht included a screenshot of tweets from Beni Johnson, then using the handle @prayfor5, which at present is not appearing on Twitter. Her tweets, posting Bible verses, were blocked, with the note, “This Tweet may include sensitive content.”

So, worship is deemed “harmful” and Scripture verses about peace are deemed “sensitive content.” Really?

Let us, then, flood Big Tech with the Word and worship. And let us report and challenge every unjust infraction about the practicing of our faith.

It’s beyond time.

(For my 10-point, winning strategy for believers leading into this volatile election, see my new book Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test?)

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Pickle posted a comment · Jun 27, 2020
I have a question for Dr. Mike. Don't know where else I can ask it, so sorry if this is the wrong place. As bad as things are in terms of race relations in the U.S., right now, I think America is guilty of a much greater, more recent, horror pertaining to the mistreatment of blacks that gets ignored. It is a disgrace. Under Clinton's administration, the U.S. sat back and pretended not to know about the Rwandan Holocaust and It was a Holocaust in every sense. Clinton assured the world afterwards that he was unaware of the massacre as it was going down. That was a blatant lie according to records released through the FOIA after he left office. The media is as much to blame as Clinton because they knew that he knew. He received daily briefings about it for Pete's sake and the media was well aware of it. Fast forward 30 years and we see our leftist, manipulative criminal mouthpiece for the liberals blasting Trump for everything/anything. I am not excusing Trump for his behavior. I am saying that when we examine Clinton's culpability in the deaths of 800,000 black, unarmed, innocent folks with Trump's worst failings, well there is no comparison. Yet, Clinton and his comrades in the big media are free to enjoy life, breathe fresh air and drink champagne while the blood of the innocents thousands of miles from Washington D.C. screams for justice. How can we hold Clinton and the media accountable especially in light of their non-stop persecution of Trump who never killed anyone?
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Pickle posted a comment · Jun 27, 2020
A ground swell of New Atheists is trying to tear Christianity apart every where you look. They are adding believers in atheism to their ranks. This is one reason they despise us and GOD: they quote scripture in which God directs His Chosen Ones to kill every man, woman and child belonging to a certain group. How can a loving GOD do such a thing, they ask? Good question. If anyone can offer a satisfying answer to that particular question, it is Dr. Mike. They target Christians overtly, covertly, constantly, day and night. They are on a mission to take down Christianity. They live to express their hatred for believers and for our GOD they deny exists! Dr. Mike is just the man we need to address their questions, hostilities, and aggressive, insulting disruptions on every format where Christians are present and they can get away with it. I have come to grips with the kinds of issues they use to justify their behavior. GOD is love and when He makes a decision to destroy all the men, women and children of a particular group of people, He takes no joy in it and His decision must be just because He cannot do anything outside of His Holy character and nature. But, I have no doubt, Dr. Mike can present anyone who struggles over these kinds of matters a much more thorough and helpful explanation. Not to change the subject, but I think Joe Biden is suffering from some type of mental aphasia. Not trying to put him down or speak in cruel terms about Joe. I worry if he's elected, he may be unable to carry out his responsibilities as a result of the cognitive impairments he demonstrates.
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neptune posted a comment · Jun 26, 2020
See, this is why I think Christians need to get off social media. Or at the very least, use only alternative social-media sites that don't censor Christian content. When Christians use social media, they're enabling these Big Tech bullies, in my opinion. I think it's especially shameful when Christian leaders—who are supposed to be setting an example—cling to social media like a lifeline. Sadly, I think it has become an idol to so many. Instead of using YouTube, put your videos on places like BitChute instead, which aren't censoring content. Having the courage to kick these Big Tech bullies to the curb—I think that's what separates the men from the boys. Anyway, I'm doing my best to avoid using Google, YouTube, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., as much as possible, and I encourage others to do the same.
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Jun 26, 2020
I’m always amazed by the amount of complete ignorance of our Constitution. The 1st Amendment protects you from the government punishing or censoring or oppressing your speech. It doesn't apply to private organizations. FB and Twitter have every legal right to ban you or me at any time for any reason. You can't make a First Amendment claim in court.