Update: This Problem Has Been Fixed. Facebook Has Adjusted Its Algorithm To Better Accommodate Social Justice Language
[More Information About Update and Fix:]
Whenever people write about social justice issues they inevitably use words that describe oppressive and abusive situations. For a period of time at the end of 2019 the Facebook algorithm was interpreting those words as abusive. We wrote them a lot of letters about what was going on and they fixed it.
The blog below describes the situation before the fix took place.
[End Of Update]
Our Facebook page was on a 'Temporary Hold' until this morning because the Facebook algorithm has been changed and dialed to high related to words it flags as "abusive."
We were informed that we did something to violate Community Standards but we will not be informed what it was.
Our page has been placed on hold twice in the last 30 days for a total for 20 days.
We've always tried to shine a light on religious bigotry. Normally we wouldn't hesitate to post the following article. Right now we're afraid to post it. The title of the article would almost assuredly trigger an "abusive speech" flag. We didn't even post the title of this article in this blog post. Click on the story and you'll see what we mean.
Pastor Robert Jeffress Has Made Inflammatory Comments About Jews, Muslims, Mormons And Hindus. He Just Spoke At Trump’s Hanukkah Party.
We hope this problem is fixed soon. Our post reach was turned off for the better part of the last 30 days, just in time for the Christmas season. We know of several other progressive Christian social media outlets affected in a similar manner.
We admire what Facebook is attempting to do but it's affecting us dramatically.
You can't write about social justice, situations where 'the least of these' are being abused or oppressed, without using language describing how they're being abused or oppressed. Artificial intelligence algorithms are going to misinterpret said language.
We're currently paranoid about everything we post. We never know what language will trigger a 'flag' again and cause another hold on our page.
If Christians can't advocate for the sick, the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the homeless, the persecuted and the ignored we are in serious trouble as a nation. Fixes must be devised. Social media companies must flag appropriate accounts as social justice advocates and code algorithms to examine the language they use under a unique set of criteria.
We have long taken pride in speaking the words of Jesus to power in no uncertain terms. Right now we can't do that.
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” -- Anne Lamott
If abuse of 'the least of these' concerns you as much as it does us, please contribute to our Seasonal Fund.
#GivingTuesday - Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day.
It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. One of the best ways to get involved is give back in your own community. We know tens of thousands of you consider The Christian Left 'your own community.'
An overview or our history is included below. If you're in a hurry and would just like to make a quick contribution you can do so here, and thanks. Here's how to make a Giving Tuesday contribution. Help us keep TCL active and alive.
As we like to point out, we've been here 24/7/365 for a decade, functioning as a haven for Christian progressives and their allies. Anyone is welcome to this haven as long as they genuinely want to be here because they enjoy it.
Others have tried to duplicate our formula and it hasn’t been the same. Most have given up and moved on. Before we existed there was no such place where all of this could happen on a national scale for Christian progressives. Social media made it possible for the first time and we jumped on it.
Of course that's just the beginning. We're far more than 'just a Facebook page.'
We’ve done a lot of things throughout the years. We’ve personally met and spoken with many of the progressive Christian thought leaders in our travels including Brian McLaren, Frank Schaeffer, Phyllis Tickle, Reverend William Barber II, Sister Simone Campbell, Fr. Richard Rohr and Jim Wallis to name just some of them.
We've attended the Wild Goose Festival and other related gatherings many times to network on your behalf.
From the very first day we've put the teachings of Jesus front and center in everything we say and do. We've noticed now, 10 years later, other Christian thought leaders are starting to focus on the teachings of Jesus as well, even writing books about the need to return to his teachings. We'll take that as a compliment and a hat tip to our central message over the last decade.
In 2012 we set up a legal Super PAC for progressive Christians called ‘Christians For A Change.’ It folded after a time from lack of funding but we tried.
We’ve put together the biggest selection of progressive Christian apparel and gear on the internet which doubles as an outreach and a way to partially support the ministry. Our designs get noticed.
We’ve partnered with many other progressive Christian businesses throughout the years including the Wild Goose Festival, Chalice Press, The Jesus Seminar, Repairers of the Breach, and the Patheos Progressive Christian page, which is one of our current promotional partners. They feature some of the top progressive Christian thought leaders and bloggers in the world and we feature their best articles daily.
The activities and writing of TCL and its co-founders have been featured on NPR's “The Story” with Dick Gordon, PBS's “Religion & Ethics News Weekly,” the documentary film “Amendment One,” the “State of Belief” radio program with Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, the front page of The Huffington Post, Sojourners Magazine, TIME Magazine online, and Patheos Progressive Christian page.
This summer we sent a TCL mission team to El Paso, TX, where we visited 'the wall' and held a service outside the El Paso Walmart where a mass shooting had occurred in the weeks before.
In January we will send a team to participate in the 'Faith, Politics & the Common Good: Voter's Summit & Presidential Forum,' in Des Moines, IA. After the summit we're going to travel on a substantial portion of a national bus tour with events in every state. The tour will feature progressive Christian thought leaders who will encourage people at every stop to Vote for the Common Good!
We could go on and on but stick around. You'll hear all of our story if you spend enough time with the TCL community.
Here's how to make a Giving Tuesday contribution. Help us keep TCL active and alive.
We'll keep doing all the things we've described above and more!
-- The Christian Left
P.S. Just in case the link above doesn't work, you can copy and paste the following URL to your browser.
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.