Being on Facebook can be difficult. Post the wrong image and you can get banned. Make an honest mistake with a comment and you are off the platform for a week (at least). If you’re running Facebook groups or pages, then you have to make sure everything posted is “acceptable” by the powers that be.
And that brings us to the issue at hand.
Atheists Against Pseudoscientific Nonsense is a page dedicated “to promote skeptical thinking, civil rights, scientific outreach, and for the website www.thescientificatheist.com” Daniel Fisk Bennett founded the site and is passionate about skepticism. (You can see my chat with him here.)
This morning he messaged me and said the government of Pakistan didn’t like an image he posted on the Facebook page. He sent me this pic.
And what was the post that brought down the hammer of censorship? I’m glad you asked. I tweeted the image someone in Pakistan found so offensive.
A radical illustration to some. pic.twitter.com/Y9uulhb1LK
— Professor Andrew Canard (@LaughPurgatory) October 28, 2020
Radical stuff indeed.
I asked Daniel what he thought about this particular act of censorship. This is what he had to say:
Apparently, my activism has reached the point where the government of Pakistan is trying to censor me. So I know what I’m doing is working because they’re trying to prevent my activism from being seen. I think it’s a shame though that Facebook bows down to theocratic blasphemy laws. This tells me we have a lot more work ahead of us. Rational thought and skepticism is discouraged by zealots and this right here is evidence for that. Admittedly, I know it is essentially a troll post. But, with that being said, it’s the principle of the matter that counts.
In an age when a teacher in France gets his head cut off for showing students cartoons, it seems we live in a time where troll posts can speak for the victims of religious fanatics.