A Christian mother from Ohio claims Facebook has suspended her account because she expressed her religious beliefs on the social media platform.
Elizabeth Johnston, a homeschooling mother of 10 who also writes the blog “The Activist Mommy”, has accused Facebook of censorship after her account was suspended earlier this month for writing about how Leviticus condemns homosexuality, The Christian Post reports.
She said the comment that allegedly sparked her suspension on Facebook was posted over half a year ago and was in response to another user who mocked Christians for condemning homosexuality but eating shellfish and pork.
The user post was deleted on February 9, while Johnston’s “The Activist Mommy” page on Facebook, which has more than 76,000 followers, was temporarily suspended. The mother was notified by the social media platform that her comments on homosexuality were a breach of the Facebook Community standards.
“I responded with just scriptural commentary and that is considered ‘hate speech’ by Facebook,” Johnston explained. “It was just very intellectual and it was just a commentary on what the Bible says. There was no name calling or anything like that,” Johnston said.
After her Facebook page was reactivated again, the Christian mother then posted the same commentary on what the Bible says about homosexuality – only to see Facebook removing the comment and freezing her account again, this time for seven days.
“Last Sunday, I posted something about the ban, explaining to my followers where I had been the last three days and reposted the screenshot and wrote #FacebookCensorship,” she said. “That ticked them off and they didn’t like that at all. It was going viral. Just within a few hours, they had banned me again and they were going to make it more painful.”
Facebook has been continually criticized over its handling of conservative and Christian viewpoints on its platform. Last year, the tech giant was accused of suppressing conservative news sites in its “trending news” section. Mark Zuckerberg denied the claims.
Although the real reason for Johnston’s post removal remains unknown, according to Facebook’s community standards the platform actively removes various forms of “hate speech”.