Social Media War On Christian Content - Worship Now Deemed 'Harmful'
By Michael Brown/AskDrBrown.orgJune 29, 2020
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The headline to this article is not sensationalistic. It is not click bait. It is truth. Shocking truth. Yes, Instagram has designated videos of live worship on the streets to be in violation of community guidelines, calling the content "harmful." Let the outrage be felt and heard.
Sean Feucht is a worship leader and songwriter who recently ran for political office in California. He is also a conservative Christian.
On June 23 he tweeted, "This is what we've come to in America! Instagram is now classifying my WORSHIP videos as 'harmful or false information.' Religious Liberty? Freedom of Speech? Big Tech censorship?"
Included in the tweet was a screenshot from Instagram, explaining that the company had removed his video post because it was violation of Community Standards. (Oh, those dread community standards again!)
Specifically, Instagram stated, "Story removed for harmful or false information."
What on earth does this mean? What can it possibly mean?
Feucht's tweet got the attention of Missouri's Senator Josh Hawley who tweeted, "Cancel culture meets #BigTech. Now @instagram is censoring a Christian worship leader who wants to post videos of praise and worship from places where there has recently been unrest. And that doesn't meet 'community standards'? Can't wait to hear the explanation for this."
As of this writing, we are still awaiting explanation.
I Know What It's Like
A few years ago, I repeatedly challenged Facebook for censoring some of my posts for alleged violation of community standards, exposing the rank hypocrisy of their decisions.
For example, my factual, fairly-worded post dealing with LGBT issues would be deemed hateful, while the most blasphemous, unimaginably profane, anti-Christian Facebook pages were allowed to operate without restriction. Seriously?
Thankfully, in most cases, with the help of an internal contact, Facebook reinstated my posts (or, restored my status). But other colleagues of mine did not fare so well, having their pages permanently shut down for alleged violation of the dreaded (and oh so ambiguous) community standards.
It seems that "hate" meant one thing for one group and something entirely different for the other.
When it comes to YouTube and Google, the battle continues, with large channels like Prager U still experiencing discrimination and unequal treatment. (Where are all the social justice warriors calling for equality? Somehow, they don't seem to be raising their voices for Prager U.)
In my own experience, after having over 1,000 of my channel's videos branded unsuitable for advertising in a single stroke (!), YouTube has actually been fair with me, even surprising me at times by what it approves for monetization. At the same time, we know that the other shoe could drop at any moment and suddenly, we could be banned.
It is a big mistake to put our trust in Big Tech.
What Were the Censors Thinking?
What happened with Instagram, though, seems even more bizarre and extreme. What on earth were the all-powerful censors thinking?
There are endless videos on Instagram showing disturbing clips from the recent protests and riots, all of them somehow in conformity with community standards. (Right now, over on Twitter, I'm watching a video of the "CHOP" call from Seattle, with specific reference to guillotines. I imagine similar videos can be found on Instagram.)
But when a video is posted showing Christian worship in the midst of these protests, it is removed for alleged "harmful or false information."
Since there is nothing "false" about the video, then it must be considered "harmful" -- hence the headline to this article.
Is this actually what Instagram meant? Could they possibly be claiming that worshiping the Lord on the streets of our divided cities is harmful?
One of the videos censored was titled "Worshiping through the riots in St. Louis," which showed a diverse group of people preaching a message of peace, faith and inclusion as music played in the background, according to Fox News.
Another video, titled "HOPE RALLY at the George Floyd Memorial site," was censored. It showed people praying, singing and comforting one another, apart from various baptisms of those in attendance. It also showed people of different races crying together and hugging each other.
Earlier this week, Feucht wrote, "While @Facebook @instagram @Twitter promote the content of violence, rioting & destruction, they are actively CENSORING worship, prayer, peaceful protest & anything going against their fear-mongering narrative. My feed and many others is proof. #ChangeTheNarrative"
"I'm a leader in the faith community. I'm also an artist and I have a worship and missions ministry," Feucht told Fox News. "One of the things we've been doing since [the recent U.S. protests] started happening is, we've been going to a lot of these places and bringing a unified -- black, white Hispanic, Asian -- just a unified coalition of people together, worshiping and praying, and peacefully protesting."
The worship leader said he learned about the censorship after some of his followers told him they weren't able to share or view any of his recent content. "I noticed the videos were being suppressed and they weren't getting the normal traction. But I didn't know this was the reason until I started getting tagged in people's posts about it... So I blew the trumpet on it because this is crazy."
Time to Flood Big Tech With Worship and the Word
Ironically, as if to drill the point home, as I was writing this article, I spotted another tweet from Sen. Hawley from a few hours ago. He wrote, "Now @Twitter is actively censoring Bible verses? Seriously? Why?"
Hawley retweeted another tweet from Sean Feucht, stating, "Not only is big tech blocking worship videos, now they're blocking Bible verses about PEACE! RT if you believe social media needs more peace, more worship, and less censorship of Jesus followers."
Feucht included a screenshot of tweets from Beni Johnson, then using the handle @prayfor5, which at present is not appearing on Twitter. Her tweets, posting Bible verses, were blocked, with the note, "This Tweet may include sensitive content."
So, worship is deemed "harmful" and Scripture verses about peace are deemed "sensitive content." Really?
Let us, then, flood Big Tech with the Word and worship. And let us report and challenge every unjust infraction about the practicing of our faith.
It's beyond time.
This is one more example of the culture wars our nations is fighting. But it goes beyond politics and censorship. Learn more about the spirit of Jezebel sweeping the our nation and and what you can do to help stop it with Michael Brown's new book "Jezebel's War With America" - available from PNW here.