Facebook Apologizes for Threatening to Censor Christian Satire Site ‘Babylon Bee’

Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a 'town-hall' meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi on October 28, 2015. Speaking to about 900 students at New Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology, Zuckerberg said broadening Internet access was vital to economic development in a …
Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images, Edits: BNN

Facebook has issued an apology over their recent threat to demonetize the Christian parody news site Babylon Bee after Snopes accused the site of publishing “fake news.”

The Federalist reports that Facebook has apologized for threatening to demonetize Christian parody news website the Babylon Bee after Snopes accused the site of publishing “fake news” over the websites satirical article which claimed that CNN had purchased an “industrial-size washing machine to spin news before publication.” The article was quite obviously satire and was published amongst the sites many other parody articles such as “Man Anxiously Awaiting Late-Night Shows So He Can Learn What To Think About Day’s Political News,” and “Mark Zuckerberg Finishes Another Long Day Of Deciding What People Should Believe.”

Yet as Breitbart News has previously reported, partisan “fact-checking” service Snopes felt the need to publish a correction of the article that clarified that  CNN had not “made a significant investment in heavy machinery.” After Snopes published the article Adam Ford, who runs the Babylon Bee, received a notification from Facebook which warned him that if he continued to publish “fake news” corrected by Snopes on Facebook, he could have his page demonetized and his page reach severely reduced.

Some of the Bee’s articles were also labeled with a link to Snopes “debunking” their articles with a note saying “fact-checker.”

Babylon Bee readers also noted that they were receiving warnings about “fake news” when attempting to share articles by the publication on Facebook’s platform. “Before you share this content, you might want to know that there is additional reporting on this from Snopes.com,” said Facebook in a pop-up when one reader attempted to share the article on their own page.

Facebook has since apologized for threatening to demonetize the site’s Facebook page saying, “There’s a difference between false news and satire. This was a mistake and should not have been rated false in our system. It’s since been corrected and won’t count against the domain in any way.”

As Breitbart’s John Nolte said in his article about Facebook’s initial warning,

“This is Kafka 101, a world where you do not know what the rules are because there are no rules — so you freeze and do nothing, which is exactly what the left wants. Never forget that this is exactly what Obama’s IRS did to the Tea Party in the lead up to the 2012 election.”

“Additionally, when one recalls how CNN threatened to dox a private citizen for making a silly YouTube video that targeted the last-place network, this act of corporate fascism against the Babylon Bee — and the chilling message it is meant to send to anyone who would dare mock the left-wing establishment — is even less surprising.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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