Facebook Censors Image of Santa Kneeling Before Our Lord

Algorithms reflect the human bias behind them.

Facebook flagged this image as “violent or graphic content.”
Facebook flagged this image as “violent or graphic content.” (photo: Jennifer Beahm Crawford on Facebook)

“We’re back to the hypocrisy sweepstakes, where gestures of virtue are as formalized as kabuki. Humor has been assassinated. An off-word at work or school will get you booted to the gallows. This is the graveyard of liberalism, whose once noble ideals have turned spectral and vampiric.” —Camille Paglia


Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that, “There was nothing more dangerous than intentional ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” If such is the case, Facebook is the most dangerous hazard known to man.

Facebook, in its utter lack of wisdom, banned the most benign and sweet image of Santa Claus kneeling at the Christ Child’s manger.

Facebook deemed the image “violent or graphic content,” obscuring the picture, explaining that the “photo was automatically covered so you can decide if you want to see it.”

Users then had to click on a button to uncover the photo.

After LifeSiteNews wrote about this dunderheaded move, the story went viral.

The image was restored, interestingly, on the Feast of Saint Nicholas―the real Santa Claus. Coincidence or divine intervention? You decide.

Facebook has had a long history of censoring Christian organizations and individuals, flagging our beliefs as being “hateful” or otherwise inappropriate, but it is their actions and inaction that is most accurately branded as hateful. Facebook takes their cues from benighted groups like PolitiFact and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I wrote to Facebook Headquarters but they didn’t respond by time of publication.

I asked them what exactly was offensive to their censors. Was it Santa? Was it the Child Jesus? Was it the fact that they were both depicted together? Was it because Santa was paying homage to the Lord of the Universe? Was it because Facebook thought we were fat-shaming Santa? Was it because we didn’t point out that Santa might be gender dysphoric?

Would Facebook have been offended if Vishnu, the Hindu deity, was thusly depicted? What if Vishnu was kneeling before Christ―or Santa for that matter?

But this is only the tip of the insanely politically-correct iceberg. Facebook, Google and Twitter are among the many tech companies that have been accused of online censorship by conservatives. Case in point, the company also has suspended Elizabeth Johnson’s account―a Christian editor of the blog known as “Activist Mommy.” She called gender confusion a mental illness and was immediately blocked. The social media giant also blocked ads for the movie Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer, labeling the film about the serial killer abortionist “political speech.”

Facebook also banned a Franciscan University of Steubenville ad in April of this year writing: "Your image, video thumbnail or video can't contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content."

It was a depiction of a San Damiano Cross which the university used to promote its MA Theology and MA Catechetics and Evangelization programs.

The college, in response, wrote, the Crucifixion does indeed fit those descriptions, as man "executed God."

“It was shocking, yes: God deigned to take on flesh and was 'obedient unto death, even death on a cross.' (Philippians 2:8),” it added.

“And it was certainly excessively violent: a man scourged to within an inch of his life, nailed naked to a cross and left to die, all the hate of all the sin in the world poured out its wrath upon His humanity.”

In July 2017, Facebook banned nearly two dozen Catholic Facebook pages. The outrage that resulted forced Facebook to rescind their blind authoritarian fiat. Once again, the company blamed a “spam detection tool” for the error at the time.

Facebook would have us believe that their computers have an algorithm―a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations―that thinks that Santa and Jesus are “hateful” but that so-called “Sisters of the Perpetual Indulgence”―a satirical homosexual anti-Catholic hate group―is okay with Facebook.

But algorithms aren’t created by computers. They are created by human beings who are far more intelligent than a box of nuts and bolts. Thus, blaming an algorithm is merely kicking the can down the road.

If this were a one-off incident at Facebook or Google or Twitter, then Christians could rightfully be accused of hypersensitivity and a lack of charity. But this is now the “offense-of-the-week” with these communication giants, and it’s clearly not going to end until we get some legislation to help us.

It’s time for both Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to fess up. Those who wish to destroy the Church or change its basic principles and dogma should keep in mind St. Thomas Aquinas’ words:

The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing… Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater the number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest…. Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the Devil.”