Censored but not silenced

Monday, May 18, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Facebook NOT like buttonThe founder of an online ministry whose primary goals are to "exalt Jesus Christ and connect Christ followers with Biblical encouragement" is not being quiet about Facebook censoring his posts.

Sean Higgins is a youth pastor in New Jersey who operates a website called Jesus Out-Loud that was grown from the popularity of his daily devotionals posted on Facebook.

"I was posting things on Facebook each day, and it became popular. So the need for a website arose, and it just kind of grew," Higgins tells OneNewsNow. "I decided to make an official business page that matched that website, so I started a business page called Jesus Out-Loud on Facebook, where I'll post a link each day to my daily devotional."

Higgins has been doing this for about a year and never had any problems until a recent Sunday afternoon, when people started contacting Higgins to say that posts they shared were deemed a violation of Facebook's community standards.

"Once I got into Facebook and saw what was going on, there were still about half of my articles on my page. As I was trying to figure out what was happening, a minute or so later, all of them were gone," says Higgins. "They'd all been wiped."

The youth pastor contacted Facebook and began a series of conversations to determine what prompted the removal.

"The only options that are left is someone is either excessively reporting me, or my content goes against Facebook's user agreement," Higgins details. "It's very unlikely that it's reporting, which means that it's content that's triggering [Facebook's community standards policy]."

In terms of what he wrote or posted, Higgins says it is nothing the world would deem controversial in terms of scripture or Bible topics.

Higgins

"A vast majority of my family is unsaved," he shares. "I want them to read it and be reached in a loving way and not feel like I'm a hateful person, so I try to the best of my ability, to make sure things are coming across in a positive light."

Meanwhile, Higgins knows other people are experiencing similar problems.

"One is a pastor, and Facebook removed a portion of his sermon that they deemed political and then notified him that they'd done so," Higgins tells OneNewsNow. "Another pastor I know in Maine had his page totally blocked."

Facebook's representative has told Higgins he would be in touch with a report as to what is going on with his page.

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