Facebook has apologized for removing a photo of a mixed-race gay couple’s wedding from Gay Marriage USA’s page then subsequently blocking the administrator from gaining access.
The marriage equality campaign’s Facebook page has over 295,000 followers, but its founder, Murray Lipp, was notified that the photo of a bishop getting married to his husband at a small Pentecostal church was deemed “offensive”.
Lipp was also banned for a week from posting content to Gay Marriage USA for violating Facebook’s “policies and community standards”.
The Guardian reports:
Prior to the image being removed by Facebook, it had garnered a significant number of homophobic comments including: “I am just in disgust with their lifestyle. It’s disgusting and completely vile.”
Another said: “Someone please explain to me how it is acceptable when man and man/woman or woman cannot conceive children? It is our purpose in life to conceive children.”
Others quoted passages from the bible that prohibit gay sex and threatened to get the Gay Marriage USA Facebook page shut down.
According to Lipp, he has been a victim of Facebook’s rigid and oft-random restrictions over the past year due to homophobic comments made by other users.
“Not once has Facebook ever contacted me to give me an opportunity to respond,” Lipp told The Guardian, “it simply blocks me each time and each time the block is for a longer period of time. It’s totally unjust that I should be punished for someone else’s homophobia.”
Once The Guardian stepped in and let Facebook know of the situation, Lipp and the “offensive” photo were reinstated. A spokesman for Facebook also offered this apology:
“The content of the photograph in question did not violate our terms, however it was removed in error. Normally these comments are reviewed separately and removed where appropriate. In this instance the photograph itself was mistakenly taken down, despite there being nothing in the picture that breaks our rules. We apologize for the error.”
A source at Facebook claims that the social media giant is reviewing the way it deals with the thousands of complaints it receives daily to reduce the number of mistakes it “occasionally” makes.
Facebook do not operate a system that allows content to be censored by an amount of public complaints.
The complaints have alerted a moderator who agreed with the complaint, there is no automatic system in operation at Facebook, these were deliberate decisions by Facebook staff.
@2eo: But whatever one separately thinks of Facebook, no one could believe that a photo like this would be deemed “offensive” under their terms of service standards. I don’t know about the specific process that is used when they get a lot of complaints, but I’m going to take their word for it that this is a weird aberration, just like when the pictures of a disabled child were erroneously labeled offensive and removed.
@DuMaurier: It’s just that one of the homophobic moderators personally felt offended at seeing the image of those two dudes together. There’s really no other explanation.
Another moderator must’ve wondered wtf it was taken down in the first place and simply put it back up.
Makes me wonder what type of friends those guys have, that they’d receive such vicious comments for posting up a wedding picture.
Did they have their profiles set on public? o_O
I have occasionally mistake Facebook for Grindr and friend request hot guys, but then remember my private pics are of my fat phase that I refuse to let the world see except my fag hag.
Another reminder as to why I won’t ever use that website.
@Cagnazzo82: There’s no such thing as a private setting on Facebook, using their own developer API it’s possible to get every single detail and photo from ANY account no matter the setting[s].
Your information is also sold to advertisers, including private photographs.
I’m with you..i’ve been ova it for awhile….NEXT
Why am I not suprirsed?Facebook Last year they disabled my account because I had a photogrph which showed my upper body! Yet there are so many on that site who have pornographic images on there, without anyone in facebook having a problem with it
@Cagnazzo82: I believe the image was posted on a Facebook group called Gay Marriage USA, most likely it’s a public group. I don’t think the image was on a private page, nor were the comments from “friends”.
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