Did Facebook Really Ban the “I Am A Christian” Ad?
By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor
Last week, the producers of the movie I AM A CHRISTIAN claimed that their social media promotion was halted by Facebook because of their Christian ads. I AM A CHRISTIAN stars Kevin Sorbo, and is about Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was persecuted after converting to Christianity. The project is currently raising money on Indiegogo.
In an attempt to help raise money through Facebook, the producers of I AM A CHRISTIAN prepared the following ad.
“Are you a Christian? We challenge you to change your profile picture to this ‘I Am A Christian’ photo for one week! Change your picture now, and challenge your friends to do the same. Stand up and declare: ‘Yes, I Am A Christian!!!’”
After Facebook denied the ad, the said company claimed that the ad did not follow “Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines for language”. The producers were “shocked” and appealed to Facebook, receiving the following message from Frank at the Facebook Ads Team.
“Your ad wasn’t approved because it doesn’t follow our language policies. We’ve found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics such as religion.” Frank continued, “Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don’t accept language like ‘Are you fat?’ ‘Wanna join me?’ and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people,”
Among the many examples listed on Facebook’s website is this one:
“Religion or philosophical belief
▪ Acceptable: “Date Christian Singles” “Plenty of Christians” “Want to date a Christian?” (These describe the service, not the person)
▪ Unacceptable: “Are you Christian?” “Meet other Christians” (These assert or imply that the person is Christian)”
Could Facebook be parsing words, picking on this project for its message? Possibly. It wouldn’t have been the first time a company has done this, and it likely wouldn’t be the last.
Could the filmmakers behind the project easily rephrase their advertisement so it fits the guidelines? Very likely as well.
What’s strange is the sensational and passionate accusations of “censorship” and “discrimination” that are thrown at Facebook, on Facebook. If Facebook truly wanted to censor Christians, why would it censor the very small Facebook page “I Am A Christian – Movie” that has 4,000 fans, when a different Facebook page titled “I am a Christian” has 1.9 million fans and is going strong? Other projects that are even more aggressive such as Pureflix’s GOD’S NOT DEAD with 6.7 million fans saw unprecedented success due to effective Facebook advertising. Could it be possible that Facebook is simply holding the producers of I AM A CHRISTIAN to the same advertising standards that they hold to everyone else? This is what must be explored first being accusations are thrown.
Are Christian’s just playing the victim card? True injustice against Christian men and women is happening all over the world. The filmmakers of I AM A CHRISTIAN know this because that’s exactly what their movie discusses.
Although, in an odd twist, the Sudanese woman who’s the subject of the movie has come against the project. Christianity Today writes, “Meriam’s husband, Daniel, told Christian Today that they had been contacted last year by the film’s promoters but had rejected their approach because they had accepted another from a different film company. Christian Lives Matter, the company behind ‘I am a Christian’ was “taking advantage of them”, he said.” The filmmakers issued an apology and the project was halted.
Was it a cry wolf situation or was Facebook being vindictive against Christians? Post in the comments your thoughts.
Do you enjoy articles like this? Click here to become a monthly partner and receive a copy of UNPLANNED on DVD!