We F*cking Love Atheism, a huge Facebook page for atheists, has been shut down… and no one seems to know the reason.
WFLA was unpublished, and the administrators weren’t even told which post violated Facebook’s terms and conditions, but admins – only identified as LJ and Kat – have already started a Change.org petition to reverse the decision. 773 people have signed that campaign already, and you can do the same here.
We Fucking Love Atheism ( https://www.facebook.com/WFLAtheism/ ) is a large atheist community page with over 690,000 followers. The page represents more than 6 years of daily hard work, tears, sacrifice, and energy, countless hours spent creating and sourcing content, news, and more for our following.
On November 4th, Facebook unpublished our page, giving us no reason why except for a generic message stating that we had violated their community standards. No specific infraction was given. We have appealed the decision, but have not been given a response at the time of writing this.
We are completely heartbroken. There are all sorts of pages on Facebook that promote horrific, hateful ideas, from Nazis to incels, paedos and everything in between. We’ve reported so many over the years, as we are sure you have too, only to have Facebook tell us that their hate speech is not a violation of their “Policies”.
They couldn’t be more right on this. I have personally been banned on Facebook dozens of times, including for merely posting a photo in front of the Westboro Baptist Church (where they had an offensive sign). My page has never been unpublished, though.
I’ve also been banned for posts that seemingly violate none of Facebook’s stated conditions. In fact, on more than one occasion, I posted death threats that I had received and I was banned while the sender went without any punishment.
I’ve had it bad over the years, but WFLA has had it even worse. And it’s terrible because they have helped a lot of non-believers feel supported even in overly religious regions.
All we ever wanted was to help people. Being an Atheist is very hard in many places, in some places it can even get you killed. Everything we have done has centered around letting people know, that it’s okay. It’s okay to laugh at the absurd. Okay to question the doctrines. Okay to *not* believe. To let them know they are not alone. We have NEVER promoted violence toward religious people. We have NEVER promoted hatred or intolerance. I can point you to a half dozen fundamentalist Christian and Muslim pages on Facebook right now that openly call for violence against Atheists and people who do not believe in the same god. Their “freedom” of hate speech is protected by Facebook, and we have been silenced.
For six years we’ve had the privilege of watching countless friendships, relationships, and even a few marriages and some gorgeous babies come about because of what we built. We think back to the thousands of messages we’ve received over the years, thanking us, and our hearts break even more. We help people break the mental shackles of indoctrination. We raise awareness. We’ve even raised a good bit of money for the homeless, and thousands of dollars in donations for Doctors Without Borders. Our content may not have always been to everyone’s taste but it was always meant to challenge perceptions, challenge the doctrines, and yes, mock them too, because NO IDEA SHOULD EVER BE IMMUNE TO CRITICISM OR MOCKERY.
I couldn’t possibly agree more. No idea should be protected from reasonable critiques, and that’s what’s happening. In fact, Facebook has also shut down another page, We Believe in Nihilism, without any warning or details.
When Alex Jones was famously de-platformed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, the companies provided information on exactly what posts caused the ban. Yet people still defended his “free speech” rights. In this case, Facebook hasn’t told anyone what actually happened.