Facebook Abruptly Blocks Dozens Of Catholic Pages, Accuses Popular Accounts Of “Suspicious Activities”

Tech giant Facebook is allegedly cracking down on Catholic pages, blocking dozens of accounts without an explanation. The Silicon Valley company accused the pages of engaging in “suspicious activities.”

According to the Catholic News Agency:

 In the last 24 hours more than twenty Catholic pages, some with millions of followers, have been blocked by Facebook for unknown reasons.

Of the known affected pages, 21 are based in Brazil, and four are English-language pages, with administrators in the U.S. and Africa. Most of the blocked pages had significant followings – between hundreds of thousands and up to 6 million followers each.

One of the blocked English-language fanpages was “Jesus and Mary”, which had 1.7 million followers. The page’s main cover photo was of the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Page administrator Godwin Delali Adadzie, a Ghanaian, told CNA he was on Facebook around 8 p.m. Central July 17 when he was asked to upload a photo of himself because his personal account had been “suspected of suspicious activities,” he said.

After several minutes, he was allowed back into his personal account, which had notifications informing him that his “Jesus and Mary” page had been disabled. He said every person who was approved as an editor on his page had to go through the same process.

Catholic pages are not the only ones to have come under fire by the social network, as “Ex-Muslims” have reportedly had their pages shut down as well.

The Observer reports:

A group of “atheists, secularists and ex-Muslims” has accused Facebook of not providing any tools or mechanisms to stop coordinated reporting and flagging campaign on their pages starting Monday.

Atheist Republic (1.6 million likes), Ex-Muslims of North America (24,000 members) and 10 other groups which are affiliated with nonprofit atheist organizations were temporarily blocked from the site.

Facebook allegedly unpublished these pages and blocked posts from appearing in News Feeds for a week because the pages violated the site’s terms of service. The site did not specify which standards were violated; however, Facebook’s community standards state that if enough people flag a page it will be taken down automatically.

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