Evangelist Franklin Graham was banned from posting on Facebook for 24 hours last week, a spokesperson for the social media giant confirmed to The Charlotte Observer on Saturday.
The spokesperson said that Graham was mistakenly banned from the site due to the contents of a post he shared in 2016 that was flagged for violating a company policy banning “dehumanizing language” and excluding people based on factors like sexual orientation and race.
The representative went on to say that the mistake was made by the company’s content review team — which is comprised of 15,000 members — and that the company has since restored Graham’s account and the post in question.
The company has said it will also apologize to the administrator of Graham’s Facebook page, according to the spokesperson.
Graham took aim at the company over the incident in a post on Facebook on Friday.
“Why?” Graham asked in the post in reference to him being banned from the platform. “Because of a post from back in 2016 about North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (the bathroom bill). Facebook said the post went against their ‘community standards on hate speech.’ Facebook is trying to define truth.”
Graham further accused Facebook of “making the rules and changing the rules. Truth is truth. 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, who is the president of the evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and an ardent supporter of President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE, also resurfaced the contents of the 2016 post that he said Facebook “took down” and asked: “Do you see any hate speech here?”
The old post targeted Bruce Springsteen for canceling a North Carolina concert at the time due to House Bill 2.
“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 said in reference to the singer in the post. “Well, to be honest, we need to go back! Back to God. Back to respecting and honoring His commands.”