Facebook Banned Another Innocent Gay Kiss For “Violating Community Standards”

michael-stokes-gay-kiss

Facebook officials apologized to out photographer Michael Stokes this week after restricting his account over innocent gay content, thanks to a discriminatory practice the company has employed countless times before.

According to Stokes, Facebook blocked him from posting for 30 days after a post promoting his new photography book had been deemed “inappropriate” by an anonymous user. In a message sent to his account, Facebook claimed the photo of two clothed men in an embrace had violated Facebook Community Standards.

Though Facebook contacted Stokes within 24 hours to lift the restriction and reinstate the photo in question, a petition has been started to end the discriminatory policy that caused the mistake.

In 2013, a similar mistake went viral after Facebook blocked porn actor Jesse Jackman for uploading a photo of he and his husband kissing.

Though Facebook has never officially commented on the policy that forces such bans, it’s obvious that an automatic ban is placed on users who are reported anonymously. As the petition points out, this enables Internet trolls to effectively ban pages they don’t like through the use of bots.

“Facebook has a block option,” it says,” which can be utilized at any time if the content of someone’s page is unsatisfactory or offensive.”

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett