Widespread protest message warns that Facebook is trying to get users to remove a circulating nativity scene image because it is “offensive”.
The claims in the message are untrue. Since it first began circulating several years ago, the very same message with the very same picture has resurfaced every year as Christmas approaches. There is no evidence that Facebook has ever tried to remove the image nor is there any reason why the company would wish to do so. Moreover, many thousands of similar nativity scene images circulate on Facebook every year.
According to a would-be protest message that begins circulating anew in the months leading up to Christmas every year, Facebook is trying to get its users to remove an attached nativity scene image from their profiles because it is offensive. The message asks users to “band together” to prove Facebook wrong, presumably by reposting and liking the image as much as possible.
However, the claims in the message are false. There is no evidence of any kind to back up the claim that Facebook is trying to get the picture removed. In fact, thousands of religious orientated images are posted on Facebook every single day with nary a squeak of protest from Facebook. There is no reason why this particular image should be treated any differently by Facebook then the thousands of other such images that regularly circulate on the network. In other words, Facebook does not care in the slightest if you post the picture or not.
Of course, if the copyright holder of the artwork specifically requested its removal from the network, then Facebook might well remove it on legal grounds. However, given that the picture has circulated far and wide for years on end, it is clear that Facebook has NOT taken any action to remove it because of a copyright breach, or any other reason. Every year, as Christmas approaches, the same message with the same picture again gains momentum on Facebook. And, every year, Facebook continues to NOT remove the image.
Over the years since it was first launched, the original message has apparently spawned other versions featuring other nativity scene images. The alternative versions also claim that Facebook is intent on removing the accompanying image. But, as with the original version, these removal claims are nonsense.
Scam “protest” messages that claim that a particular image is being removed because it has been deemed offensive are quite common on Facebook. Other versions have falsely claimed that military related images, poppy images, and even images depicting national flags have been removed or banned by Facebook.
Many of these false protest messages are the work of callous Facebook like-farmers intent on promoting their Facebook Pages or profiles by tricking people into sharing, liking, and commenting. In other cases, the fake messages are apparently created and distributed by individuals or groups intent on promoting a particular political or religious world view.
Reposting such nonsense does nothing more than cater to the sick desires of unscrupulous and immoral individuals who will stoop to any depths to promote themselves or further their agendas. Don’t help them achieve their aims by liking, sharing, or commenting.
Last updated: November 16, 2016
First published: 22, 2012
By Brett M. Christensen
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