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‘Oops, sorry,’ says Facebook after deleting ‘offensive’ photo of gay couple

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is this photo offensive?

Well, somebody at Facebook thought so — and determined that this wedding photo that appeared on the Facebook page “Gay Marriage USA” not only violated their “policies and community standards,” but was worthy of blocking the page admin from posting on Facebook for a week.

But now Facebook has apologized, said the photo was removed in error, and did not violate any rules.

Last week, Murray Lipp, the page owner of Gay Marriage USA, said he was notified by Facebook that the picture received several complaints and that he would be banned from posting to his page’s 300,000 followers for a week, reported the Guardian.

Lipp claimed that he has been reprimanded by Facebook numerous times over the past year following complaints he feels are originating from anti-gay subscribers to his page.

“Not once has Facebook ever contacted me to give me an opportunity to respond – it simply blocks me each time and each time the block is for a longer period of time,” Lipp told the Guardian. “It’s totally unjust that I should be punished for someone else’s homophobia.”

This time Lipp’s Facebook ban lasted only one day — after being notified of the situation by the Guardian, Facebook relented and reinstated the Gay Marriage USA page.

The couple in the photo are identified as “Kelsey (Pentecostal Pastor) and Erik (Pentecostal Bishop),” who were married April 28, 2012.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. Maybe also get compensation for hurt caused, it may make fb be careful in future and less homophobic & transphobic to our community

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:07pm
  2. Hmmm… they’ll block this, but they won’t block the jerks at Liberty Counsel for being homophobic bigots? Wow.

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:26pm
  3. it’s not actually real people who delete photos, it’s just AI. If someone reports a photo the AI will maybe or maybe not delete it

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:35pm
  4. There is no doubt in my mind that a program is in place to remove images after a certain amount of reports. That same program handed out the week long posting ban. I don’t see this as a Facebook problem, but as an attack against that particular page by an anti-gay group.

    C’mon, do you honestly think an entity as large as facebook personally looks at everything that gets reported?

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:37pm
  5. They better put in place a way to avoid this in the future! Maybe they Should look into Everything that is reported! Homophobes and Racists could have caused this and NEITHER IS ACCEPTABLE!

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:46pm
  6. The bottom line is that facebook sucks. When I post something with my partner’s name mentioned in the post or tag him in the post or the picture it does not post on our shared friendship or couples page and I can’t find out why. After numerous requests for help with why this is happening facebook still won’t respond. My point? They don’t have to care. They are facebook…

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:57pm
  7. WTF

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 2:56pm
  8. Can we ban homophobes?

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 3:27pm
  9. Okay Facebook get your shit together…

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 3:36pm
  10. Really!? I’m baffled by this, and I am going to investigate how many times this is happening.

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 5:54pm
  11. It’s automated… believe me. They don’t have someone sitting and checking reported photo’s. I have had accounts blocked because of a reported photo. One was a drawing I made and it showed nothing – yet I was blocked from using my account. This is actually a good thing… Perhaps now they will get a live person to peruse the reported photos instead of this ridiculous auto crap.

    Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 10:47pm