Facebook Bans Equal Rights Facebook Page ‘Have A Gay Day’ For Posting Picture Of Two Men Kissing

Equal rights Facebook page Have A Gay Day, was banned Friday evening after posting a picture of two men sharing a kiss with a caption reading: “Did this picture offend you? Did you ever think, maybe your opinion is offensive?”

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Have A Gay Day, which has over 510,000 likes, released the following statement this evening:

We posted a photo of two men sharing a kiss. The only thing visible was lips touching. The quote on the photo read, did this picture offend you? Did you ever think, maybe your opinion is offensive? We had posted this photo in the past with no issue and the last time we posted this photo was actually six months ago.

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All 106 admins of this page were kicked off of Facebook and logged out of their mobile apps and computer access. When logging back into Facebook we were told that this photo was found to be against the Community Standards for Facebook. We have reviewed the standards and feel that Facebook is in error. Many of us have received account blocks and locks from myself a 30 day ban to some with 15 day bans and yet others with only a few hours.

There is currently no way to appeal this decision. In the past Facebook has apologized to LGBT pages that had photos removed of couples kissing and restored their accounts. We are asking that Facebook wipe this accusation of being against their community standard from our record and restore our power to post on our personal pages and fan pages. This is truly uncalled for.

We have enabled back up Facebook accounts so we have the ability to still post. We ask that Facebook review their decision and promptly restore us as a page, our personal accounts and issue an apology as well as working to make sure this doesn’t occur again.
We will do everything in our power to bring this to Facebooks attention as quickly as possible.

If you are a member of the media or Facebook our inbox is always open for interaction. Thank you.

Michael
Have A Gay Day

This marks the second time this year that a major LGBT rights Facebook page has been banned for posting an image of a gay couple.

Earlier this year, the founder of the Gay Marriage USA Facebook page received a notification that the photograph of an interracial gay couple was “offensive”. The photograph of the marriage of a bishop at a relatively small Pentecostal church movement with his husband resulted in a number of complaints, according to the Guardian.

Facebook informed the page’s administrator that he would be prohibited from posting content on to the Gay Marriage USA Facebook page for a week for breaking Facebook’s “policies and community standards”.

According to the Guardian:

Lipp claimed that he has been reprimanded by Facebook numerous times over the past year following complaints that he perceived to have originated from homophobic subscribers to his page. He told the Guardian: “Not once has Facebook ever contacted me to give me an opportunity to respond – it simply blocks me each time and each time the block is for a longer period of time. It’s totally unjust that I should be punished for someone else’s homophobia.”

After being notified of the situation by the Guardian, Facebook relented and reinstated the Gay Marriage USA page.

A spokesman for Facebook said: “The content of the photograph in question did not violate our terms, however it was removed in error.”

He explained that the correct action would have been to remove the homophobic comments, adding: “Normally these comments are reviewed separately and removed where appropriate. In this instance the photograph itself was mistakenly taken down, despite there being nothing in the picture that breaks our rules. We apologise for the error.”

A source at Facebook explained that the company receives thousands of complaints about content every day and that occasionally mistakes are made but that a longer term review is underway of the way that the social network deals with accusations of offence.

Earlier this month, Facebook apologised for the deletion of content posted by PinkNews that used the word “faggot” while reporting on a homophobic outburst made by the singer Azealia Banks. Following the post, several PinkNews staff found themselves temporarily blocked from the social network.

We have previously reported a post made by the Facebook Page “Gay Marriage Is Disgusting” in April, for a sign with two nooses and a biblical quote suggesting that gay people shall be put to death. The post remains on the Facebook page:

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 Ironically, Facebook’s latest post on their official Facebook fan page, features a man and woman sharing a kiss with the caption “Take A Look At Your 2013”:

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In October, Facebook reversed course and said it will not remove videos of people being decapitated. Facebook’s community standards page acknowledges that “graphic imagery is a regular component of current events,” yet states it will not tolerate the sharing of “graphic content for sadistic pleasure.”

“Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they’re connected to controversial events on the ground, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism and other violent events,” a Facebook spokesperson clarified to CNET. “People share videos of these events on Facebook to condemn them. If they were being celebrated, or the actions in them encouraged, our approach would be different.”

It appears that a video of a beheading is more acceptable to Facebook than a picture of two men kissing.

Update 12/28/13 2:00pm EST: Actor and LGBT Rights activist George Takei, has reached out to Facebook on behalf of “Have A Gay Day.”

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