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Facebook apologizes for blocking Christian content

CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing questions from lawmakers on the company’s data practices after it was revealed Cambridge Analytica, a data firm, improperly gathered personal information from millions of Facebook profiles. (Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

33-year-old Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken full responsibility and apologized for his company’s action of blocking Christian content.

This was during his two-day congressional hearing following the revelation that up to 87 million of Facebook users’ personal data had been compromised.

Zuckerberg’s hearing was presided over by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

The ad in question, which featured a crucifix, was posted by Franciscan University of Steubenville and rejected by Facebook over Easter on the grounds that its content was “excessively violent” and “sensational.”

Zuckerberg in his testimony on Wednesday emphasized the large number of ads that are reviewed daily by his team, noting, “I wouldn’t extrapolate from a few examples to assume that the overall system is biased.”

The company apologized and said that the ad had been blocked erroneously and did not violate terms of service.

This is one of several cases in which many faith leaders, Christian broadcasters and conservatives have accused the social media giant saying: their content is blocked.

“What we’re raising awareness of is that really across the board – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, GoFundMe, Apple, the App Store – you’ve got really the censorship of Christian content and conservative content across the board,” Dr. Jerry Johnson, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, told CBN News.

“We think Mr. Zuckerberg really should answer questions about that,” he continued.

On Tuesday during a hearing on Capitol Hill, USA Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) grilled Zuckerburg around the issue of hate speech, abortion debate.

“Can you imagine a world where you might decide that  pro-lifers are prohibited from speaking about their abortion views on your platform?” said Sasse, according to local press.

Zuckerberg responded “I certainly would not want that to be the case.”

Free speech advocate Nicole Neily, the president of Speech First, says she’d like to see Facebook be more open about its censorship.  “It would be one thing if Facebook is transparent but they pretend to be ‘we’re open to all comers,’ she told CBN News.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook has 15,000 to 20,000 people devoted to security and content review. He noted 200 workers are dedicated to trying to detect content on Facebook devoted to promoting terrorism.

Zuckerberg made several commitments to lawmakers, according to CNN, including ensuring activist groups aren’t targeted on Facebook and promised that his company wouldn’t make “any decisions based on the political ideology of the content.”

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