Murry Lipp, who founded the Gay Marriage USA page on Facebook, uploaded a picture of a mixed-race gay couple, one of whom is a bishop at a Pentecostal church. The picture received hateful comments, with some people labelling it as “vile.”
Facebook not only allowed such homophobic comments to remain, but removed the innocent picture and banned Lipp for a week, claiming he broke the website’s policies and community standards.
A spokesperson for the social network said the content of the photo “did not violate our terms” and “it was removed in error.” He said that the correct course of action should have been to remove the homophobic comments, not the photograph. “We apologise for the error,” he added.
This is not the first time Facebook has been forced to apologise for banning members for posting on gay issues. Many staff members of PinkNews found themselves temporarily banned after using the word “faggot” when reporting on a homophobic tweet made by rapper and singer Azealia Banks.
According to a source cited by The Guardian, Facebook is currently reviewing the way it deals with reports of offensive material, as it receives thousands of content complaints every day, and clearly the report feature is being misused.