Facebook rejected an ad by the producers of the film I Am A Christian because the company says it degrades people.
The film is to be about the life of a Sudanese woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by her government for her refusal to renounce her Christian faith. Ibrahim was pregnant at the time, and her story captured international attention. She gave birth to a baby girl in prison.
The Sudanese high court eventually overturned Ibrahim’s sentence; and she, her husband, and two children took refuge in the U.S. embassy in Sudan. The United States government offered asylum; and after some high-level diplomatic negotiations with the assistance of the Italian government, Ibrahim and her family were allowed to emigrate to the U.S. last summer.
When the producers of the independent film I Am A Christian–slated to star Clueless actor Stacey Dash and Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo–tried to promote a crowdsourcing site for the project on Facebook, they received an opaque message back from the company.
As reported in the Christian Examiner:
In a press statement, Brian Harrington, a spokesman for the movie group, claimed Facebook sent a message which said the ad was not approved “because it doesn’t follow Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines for language that is profane, vulgar, threatening or generates high negative feedback.
“Ads can’t use language that insults, harasses or demeans people, or addresses their age, gender, name, race, physical condition or sexual preference,” the message added, according to Harrington.
He said a subsequent exchange with Facebook evinced a response that said the ad did not conform to Facebook’s “language policies.”
“We’ve found that people dislike ads that directly address them or their personal characteristics such as religion.
“Ads should not single out individuals or degrade people. We don’t accept language like ‘Are you fat?’ ‘Wanna join me?’ and the like. Instead, text must present realistic and accurate information in a neutral or positive way and should not have any direct attribution to people.”
The ad the producers wanted to put on Facebook asks:
“Are you a Christian? We challenge you to change your profile picture to this ‘I Am A Christian’ photo for one week! Change your picture now, and challenge your friends to do the same. Stand up and declare Yes, I Am A Christian!!!”
The photo with the ad also included a website link, www.YesIAmAChristian.com, and a message encouraging viewers to “Join the movement.”
Apparently, asking Facebook users if they are Christian was the offensive message.
Meriam Ibrahim does not support the making of the film I Am A Christian because it is being made without her consent.
h/t: Daily Caller