Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Facebook Deception – Pro-life Images Targeted, Smut is NOT!

Electronic media is here to stay and whether or not we use it for good or evil is up to us – or is it? Although we use the right possessive words – ‘my’ wall, my ‘likes’, my ‘friends’, etc. – it’s not quite as personal as you might think (or hope). You see, there are trolls out there who, like the Nazi informers of another era will covertly insinuate themselves into groups of people with whom they share nothing in common. This self appointed ‘content police force’ lives to find opinions with which they disagree and then works diligently to remove aforementioned opinions from public view. They don’t pursue their own hobbies or interests, but instead, monitor others and try to bring them down.

Examples of this can be found on many Facebook fan pages ‘belonging’ to pro-life and Catholic groups or individuals. Here, fans with common interests gather to share ideas, memes, links and words of solidarity. Sounds quite cozy doesn't it? Well, not so fast! In the shadows, there are others who lurk around in an effort to start trouble. They don’t have facts and sources in their favor, so instead, they seek to do harm to those with whom they disagree. Just as in real life, if someone wants to cause an 'enemy' trouble, all they have to do is be a part of the reporting system. Hate your neighbor? Report him to the local police for child endangerment or to the IRS for tax evasion. Whether or not there is truth to your allegation, the harm comes when they are forced to prove innocence.

This is the way it works with Facebook as well. Don’t like that someone is calling out abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, for killing of hundreds of babies every.single.day? Just report them to Facebook as a threat, abuse or inappropriate. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the recent blocking of a friend’s Facebook account. She has been posting pro-life memes for as long as I can remember. Her personal wall lists her as having over 5,000 tried and true friends who share her content daily. In addition to the pro-life and Catholic memes I create over on my Designs by Birgit fan page, I share her creations too.

Yesterday, she posted this:

After a short time, she was informed that this meme had been removed by Facebook. Of course, everyone who had shared it saw it disappear from their walls as well. When she reposted it later in the day, it was removed again. In addition another older meme, shown below, was also removed.

Further, she was locked out of her personal Facebook account and sent the following message via email:

You are temporarily blocked

This is your second warning for violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You are now blocked from posting content on Facebook for 24 hours.

If you continue to abuse Facebook's features, your account could be permanently disabled

Now I know that there are those who will say, ‘it’s their (Facebook) right to remove anything they’d like, after all, this is a for profit, ad-based business’. OK, fair enough (I guess), but then why isn't there an equally firm effort aimed at true hate sites that spew misinformation about the Catholic faith, for example (Whore of Babylon anyone)? Or for the aforementioned pages with graphic, gratuitous sexual content?

What we are seeing here is yet another effort of the thought police, discriminating against the sharing of the ugly truth about abortion. There is nothing fabricated or exaggerated about these pro-life graphics. They are simply showing the horrible truth about child killing – with pictures. If it’s too ugly to acknowledge maybe we should all be working harder to abolish it! JUST SAYIN’

Check out my Facebook page, Designs by Birgit, to see the excellent commentary this issue is receiving. I feel blessed to have received strong support for my friend,  from a pro-choice individual who says, "I do however feel that everyone has the right to their own opinion, and although I may not be sharing it and may not agree with the message the pic claims, I do NOT agree with her being banned and not able to stand behind her opinion!!"

You can also take a gander at the pro-life images that I create on my Pro-Life Designs by Birgit album.

NOTE: As a 'social network', Facebook affords us the opportunity to 'gather' with like-minded friends/acquaintances to share common interests. I have created a friend list that is custom tailored just for me. My wall feed reads like a who’s who of Catholic, pro-life, photography, and garden list. I don’t need the Drudge Report because all of my news comes via friends with like interests. I find it an invaluable tool for evangelization, fact finding, and support. Hopefully the day won't come when that is no longer possible!

Read UPDATE post