I’ve been a part of the Facebook group “Stop Islamization of America” for at least two years now. The group itself has existed since May of 2011.
In a back-and-forth in the comments section of something posted to the group’s page, I said in response to someone that Islam’s goal has always been a bad one.
It was a much milder thing than the other people had said, and doesn’t even compare to what is regularly said on that group’s page.
But the next time I went to sign in to Facebook, I got a pop-up notice that said that I had recently posted something that violated their Community Guidelines, and that I was suspended from Facebook for 12 hours.
But 24 hours later, I was still banned. It wasn’t until a total of 36 hours had passed that I was allowed back on Facebook. And even then, I still was not allowed to post anything anywhere, including on my own page. So I’m effectively still banned.
I clicked on Facebook’s Community Guidelines and read through them thoroughly.
The first rule was that we are not allowed to threaten harm to others or to ourselves. No problem there for me; I’m not a female middle-school student with a suspicious stash of razor blades hidden in my room.
The second rule was that no organizations associated with terrorism is allowed on the site at all. Well, I’m not associated with Islam. What Facebook forgot to add into this portion of their Community Guidelines is that while no organization associated with terrorism can maintain a presence on Facebook, users also can’t insult those organizations, as I had done.
There were many other guidelines, none of which I came close to violating, except for one: “Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”
Well, I certainly did “challenge ideas,” but evidently what Facebook means when they say “we encourage you to challenge ideas” is “we encourage you to challenge some ideas; if we happen to like the idea that you’re challenging, however, you’ll be banned.”
Did I “attack others” based on religion? No. An attack requires a recipient. There was no recipient of what I said. Like the rest of the nearly 18,000 people in the group, I expressed a negative opinion about Islam. I mean, it’s a bloody Facebook group, for goodness’ sake, specifically about being anti-Islam.
Facebook didn’t have to ban me. It was pointless. Plus, the fatwa for my head for insulting Islam would have been enough, no?