News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Saint-Augustine-Main_article_image.jpg
World News

St Augustine quote labelled hate speech by Facebook

The quote, which has now been restored, read: "Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticise, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others."

Mr Bettinelli reposted the quote after noticing it was taken down from the site after two priests posted the same extract.

A message was sent to Mr Bettinelli, notifying him that his post was in breach of their community rules, thought to be issued as the result of a Facebook algorithm.

Mr Bettinell argued that the quote is the opposite of hate speech, sharing the words of Matthew 7:3 to make his point: "Hate speech? It's the opposite of hate speech. It's calling for people to stop focusing on others' sins and concentrate on their own. Augustine is just re-formulating Jesus' own words from the Gospel: 'Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?'"

Following the incident, Mr Bettinelli requested that a human review reconsider the decision and later had his appeal rejected.

Facebook invited him to respond to the rejection to which Mr Bettinelli responded: "I still don't understand why this is hate speech. It's a quote from a Catholic saint who expresses the opposite of hate speech. He is essentially restating the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospels to stop worrying about what the other guy is or isn't doing and worry about your own flaws. Is Facebook saying that the Gospel is hate speech? But what's worse is that I have no more understanding now of what is a violation of your community standards than I did before. I cannot for the life of me figure out why you label this hate speech."

According to the Catholic Herald, a Facebook spokesperson said: "We've reviewed this post and can confirm it was removed in error. It has now been restored."

he wrote on Facebook: "Yep, Facebook has restored the St. Augustine quotes that it took down from my timeline. I've received no explanation, no notification, and no apology. 'Oopsie!'"

 

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate