Evangelical icon Franklin Graham was banned for 24 hours this week when an overzealous Facebook content monitor determined that he’d engaged in “hate speech” in a post he made about a transgender bathroom bill in 2016. The social media giant quickly apologized for the ban and assured Graham and the public that the post did not, in fact, constitute hate speech under their definitions, but Graham said Sunday that Facebook was “censoring free speech” and “trying to define truth” through a distorted lens on sexuality.
“I was defending our governor and the state [of North Carolina] on HB2,” he said on Fox & Friends. “If you disagree with their position on sexual orientation, you can be classified as hate speech.”
In a post to Facebook, Graham accused the site of “making the rules and changing the rules.”
“Truth is truth,” he wrote. “God made the rules and His Word is truth. Actually, Facebook is censoring free speech. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.”
Graham said that while he accepted Facebook’s apology at face value, he was still concerned about why a moderator was looking up two-year-old posts.
“I think it was just really a personal attack towards me,” he mused.
“Facebook’s a private company and they can certainly do what they want,” Graham said. “But Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook is a platform for all ideas. I encourage Facebook to have a standard that doesn’t move. They ought to just come up with a standard based on God’s word that applies to all people everywhere.”
The post that got Graham banned from Facebook temporarily dated from April 2016. In it, he decried celebrities and liberals who were abandoning North Carolina after the legislature passed the so-called bathroom bill into law.
“Bruce Springsteen, a long-time gay rights activist, has cancelled his North Carolina concert. He says the NC law #HB2 to prevent men from being able to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms is going ‘backwards instead of forwards,’” Graham wrote at the time. “Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands. Back to common sense. Mr. Springsteen, a nation embracing sin and bowing at the feet of godless secularism and political correctness is not progress. I’m thankful North Carolina has a governor, Pat McCrory, and a lieutenant governor, Dan Forest, and legislators who put the safety of our women and children first! HB2 protects the safety and privacy of women and children and preserves the human rights of millions of faith-based citizens of this state.”
There is, of course, nothing that even comes close to anyone’s reasonable definition of “hate speech” in that post, but when you disagree with social justice warriors, they deem everything you say to be hateful.
Facebook may have quickly reversed this particular ban, but what about the next one? And the one after that? The point is to slowly but surely freeze out opinions that go against the left-wing ideological grain and to get Americans to start censoring themselves…before the kings of Silicon Valley have to do it for them.