Facebook has apologised to Christian evangelist, Franklin Graham, for banning him from the social network over a 2016 transphobic post.
Graham’s original post supported North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ against trans people being able to use appropriate toilet facilities. While Facebook took down the post at the time, it has now been reinstated.
Graham banned for just 24 hours last week
Facebook banned Graham, who is the son of influential pastor, Billy Graham, for just 24 hours last week.
‘It was a mistake to ban Graham over a 2016 post he made on the site, and a mistake to have taken down the post,’ an unnamed spokesperson told The Charlotte Observer.
‘Facebook has restored the 2016 post and will apologize in a note to the administrator of Graham’s Facebook page,’ the spokesperson said.
The post was originally flagged for failing the site’s policy against ‘dehumanizing language’ and discrimination based on ‘sexual orientation, race and other factors’.
Graham immediately seized on the apology to slam Facebook’s censorship policy. He said the social media giant is ‘making the rules and changing the rules. Truth is truth. God made the rules and His Word is truth. Actually, Facebook is censoring free speech. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.’
Graham took issue with music legend and LGBTI supporter, Bruce Springsteen
Graham’s 2016 post focused on singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen canceling a North Carolina concert because of House Bill 2.
Many were dismayed that Facebook rolled back the ban. @supertaschablue wrote on Twitter: ‘That Facebook didn’t ban homophobic hate monger Franklin Graham permanently is why I never use Facebook. #ShameOnThem #StopHate’.
@queenhaiku2 asked Graham directly on Twitter: ‘In which chapter are the God bathroom principles listed?’
However, Facebook’s handling of the issue received many more complaints and comments over the network’s growing control over our lives.
Why is Facebook banning lesbians for using the word ‘dy*e’?