Why Did Facebook Suspend a Comedian Angry at Paris Terrorists?

British comedian Jason Manford was temporarily suspended from Facebook after he went on a passionate, explitive-filled condemnation of the jihadist terrorists who recently killed 129 people in Paris. Facebook’s reason for suspending him remain unclear.

Facebook later restored his account, but the post in question remains nowhere to be found. It is unclear whether the ban was the result of an algorithm or whether Facebook, who have yet to comment, suspended him manually.

Manford’s full Facebook post is copied below:

F*cking cowards. Slaughtering innocent unarmed people for what? Families and children enjoying life, theatre, meals? Not an army vs army you f*cking cowards.

For what? In whose name? Are you doing this in the name of your god? Cos I’ve got news for you, if you think your ‘god’ is gonna reward you for this type of atrocity then your god is a massive c***.

I hope you are all caught and murdered in a similar agonising way you f*cking scumbags. You are an embarrassment to humanity and a sh*t stain on all of humanity. You will never defeat us, we are too strong you utter bastards.

As reported by Breitbart London, Manford was later accused by some social media users of being Islamophobic.

Facebook’s reasons for suspending Manford remain a mystery. Like all social media platforms, Facebook has been pressured by governments, feminists, and parents’ groups to make its platform “safer” over the past few years. Its safety guidelines call on users to consider that their words “could really hurt someone.” However, its community standards contain no section on expletives.

The only rule that Facebook might have used to remove Manford’s post is its ban on hate speech, which they describe as “content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, serious disabilities or diseases.” But it’s unclear what, if anything, in Manford’s post could have violated this rule.

Given that Facebook allows groups like Hizb ut Tahrir, which describes itself as a “global Islamic party working for the re-establishment of the Kalifah” to have their own community page on Facebook, there is already a question over whether the social network is enforcing its hate speech policy consistently. Hizb ut Tahrir, like many Islamist organisations, is well known for its hatred of LGBT people and apostates, to name just two groups.

It’s possible that Manford’s post was caught by Facebook’s automated algorithms, which have been abused for mass-reporting campaigns in the past. But until the social network issues a comment, it will remain a mystery.

UPDATE:

Facebook has denied responsibility for the removal of Manford’s post, and his suspension. A Facebook spokesperson told Breitbart Tech: “Contrary to some reports Facebook did not take down any posts by Jason Manford following the Paris attacks. Neither did we suspend his account.” 

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