There are some who believe that America’s longstanding constitutional speech protections apply to them but not to others.
Take actor Ian McKellen, for example.
He’s admitted that when he stays in hotels and motels, he vandalizes the Gideon Bibles in the nightstands.
Not content with leaving ideas with which he disagrees concealed in a drawer, he says he takes out the Bibles and “rips out pages that contain a certain passage from Leviticus.”
The passage that annoys the homosexual actor, Leviticus 18:22, is one in which God instructs, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
Some translations use the word “abomination.”
Now Facebook is taking McKellen’s position that freedom of speech is fine for some but not for others, according to Christian writer and blogger Julio Severo.
Severo said Facebook is punishing him for posting Leviticus 18:22 in Portuguese, “Não de deitarás com homem, como se fosse mulher; abominação é.”
A WND request to Facebook for comment generated only an automated response with instructions on how to get press releases, photos and other media resources.
Facebook sent a message to Severo that said: “We Removed Something You Posted. It looks like something you posted doesn’t follow our Community Standards. We remove posts that attack people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender or disability. Levítico 18.22: Não de deitarás com homem, como se fosse mulher; abominação é.”
The offending post originally was published in 2013, Severo noted.
“Willing or not willing, Facebook treated Leviticus 18:22 directly as a ‘attack’ on ‘people based on their … sexual orientation, gender.’ That is, Facebook treated the Bible as a criminal book!” Severo said.
“Does Facebook guidelines warn its users that the Bible is a criminal book? Does Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities warn its users that the Bible is a criminal book?”
He said he’s on a 30-day ban from Facebook over the issue.
“Facebook waited exactly five years to notify my exposé is ‘offensive,”‘ Severo wrote.
“What does Facebook have against the Bible and those mentioning its verses? What does Facebook have specifically against Leviticus 18:22, a famous verse in the Bible?”
Severo directed pointed questions at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whom he described as a “Jewish American.”
“Does he approve what his company has done against the Jewish Scriptures? Is he aware?
“Or does he think that Facebook is now bigger, greater and more important than the holy Jewish and Christian Scriptures?”
He noted that President George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
The company appears to be targeting Christians, Severo said, noting “pictures of the communist criminal Che Guevara, who murdered people, including gay men, remain unshakingly throughout Facebook’s social network, as if his filthy image did not deserve banishment for his crimes.”
WND reported in December an independent review of Facebook’s practices regarding images depicting violence or statements that are offensive found that in roughly half of the cases examined, the company admitted it should have done better.
For example, Facebook allowed an image of the body of a man soaked in blood with a message stating “the only good Muslim is a ——- dead one.”
But the social media giant removed the single line “Death to the Muslims,” which did not have an accompanying image.
“We asked Facebook to explain its decisions on a sample of 49 items, sent in by people who maintained that content reviewers had erred, mostly by leaving hate speech up, or in a few instances by deleting legitimate expression,” ProPublica’s report said.
“In 22 cases, Facebook said its reviewers had made a mistake. In 19, it defended the rulings. In six cases, Facebook said the content did violate its rules but its reviewers had not actually judged it one way or the other because users had not flagged it correctly, or the author had deleted it. In the other two cases, it said it didn’t have enough information to respond.”
Inconsistencies are common, ProPublica said, having “found in an analysis of more than 900 posts submitted to us as part of a crowd-sourced investigation into how the world’s largest social network implements its hate-speech rules.”
“Its content reviewers often make different calls on items with similar content, and don’t always abide by the company’s complex guidelines. Even when they do follow the rules, racist or sexist language may survive scrutiny because it is not sufficiently derogatory or violent to meet Facebook’s definition of hate speech.”
The organization said it found that content reviewers for Facebook often make different calls regarding the same content.
The National Religious Broadcasters has launched an initiative called Internet Freedom Watch to monitor online speech censorship by Facebook and other tech companies.
A website, InternetFreedomWatch.org, documents cases, including Twitter’s removal of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in October and Facebook’s removal of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s post supporting Chick-fil-A in 2012.
NRB, which has published a chart with more than 30 instances of Internet censorship, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a former Federal Communications Commission commissioner have endorsed the effort.
Jerry A. Johnson, NRB’s president and CEO, pointed out at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington that NRB was founded in 1944 in response to corporate censorship of evangelical radio ministries.
He said the group now wants to address “those who desire to expunge opposing viewpoints from the marketplace of ideas by recklessly using nebulous terms like ‘hate speech.'”