A decision by Facebook to ban a peace-loving quote by St. Augustine of Hippo, a Catholic theologian and philosopher from the 5th century, has one Catholic writer scratching his head.
Noticing that two priest-friends had been censored by the social media giant for posting the saint’s pastoral advice, Massachusetts pro-lifer Dominic Bettinelli published the same words to his Facebook wall on Friday. Then he, too, got a warning that the post went against Facebook’s “Community Standards on hate speech.”
The quote Facebook deemed offensive is as follows:
“Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others.”
The quote, Bettinelli explained in a spirited post on the “hate speech” accusation, is from a homily of the saint included in the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office.
The author believed that the posting had been rejected by a computer algorithm. However, when he was offered the option of a human review, Bettinelli took it and discovered that even a human supervisor at Facebook deemed that the quote violated “Community Standards.”
Bettinelli told LifeSiteNews that he may have found the crux of the problem.
“A friend posted just ‘men are hopeless creatures’ and that got banned, so that seems to be the relevant part that is hate speech,” he said.
Full story at LifeSiteNews.