Groups say Facebook building its own wall, shutting down their message

Thursday, June 28, 2018
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Facebook usersConservative groups are complaining that Facebook's new rules about "hate speech" and community safety are slashing the number of people their pages are reaching.

West Virginia Pastor Rich Penkoski says the number of people who see his page has been cut by more than 90 percent in a matter of days. "We had a reach just two weeks ago of 14 million," he tells OneNewsNow, "and now we've lost 13 million of that in one week."

And it's not just his reach: the pastor says videos of his messages that he posts on his page have been disappearing.

"We do a livestream video and then as soon as it's finished – I mean literally, within seconds, it's gone," he describes. "But it's not actually gone – it still makes it look like it's live, but it's really not. It cannot be viewed by anybody other than the person who owns or runs the page."

And Penkoski says he can accurately predict which pages will be taken down. "Any time the LGBT stuff is mentioned, any reference to homosexuality being a sin, seems to be the topic that gets most removed," he contends.

Related: Pastor not backing down from fight he never wanted

The American Family Association has seen the same type of decline in its views. In the last year, AFA has lost two-thirds of its Facebook reach. General counsel Abraham Hamilton III has no doubt about what's causing the losses.

"It's patently obvious that social media giants, in particular, have displayed a particularized animus toward Christian groups and those groups that are politically conservative," he argues.

Facebook did not return calls for comment, but the declines have come shortly after the social media giant announced new guidelines for its communities. It says it wanted to protect them from hate speech – but Hamilton says it looks more like they're protecting them from conservative and Christian speech.

Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.

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