Rumours are spreading across Facebook asserting the social networking website is removing any photos that depict the Christmas Nativity scene.
The rumours have been spreading during the run up to Christmas for a number of years now, and despite their persistence, they are not true.
A popular example of the rumour that spread in 2015 can be seen below –
Facebook is trying to get folks to remove this picture from their profiles because it is “offensive”. Lets band together and prove them otherwise!!!!!
Another example that was popular in 2016 is below –
Apparently Facebook doesn’t like this because it offends some people, TOUGH! Please feel free to share.
As with common with this popular type of “Facebook is trying to remove” niche of nonsense, it is demonstrably false since these posts that implore users to share a particular status are never themselves removed. The same type of rumours have previously spread falsely claiming anti-Obama posts, atheist posts and photos of poppies will all be removed from Facebook for “causing offense”, as well as many other variants targeting other material.
Facebook’s terms and conditions that cover what is acceptable and unacceptable make no mention whatsoever of removing images simply because they are religious in nature or that they depict the nativity scene.
The assertion that Facebook is trying to remove (or “dislike”) specific images that are in support of a specific religion, political party or any other type of ideology because they are offensive or against their terms of service is a common way hoaxers try to anger Facebook users in an attempt to make them believe that the social networking site is ignorant or does not share in the users own ideologies or beliefs. Essentially these hoaxes seem to be nothing more than an attempt to cause resentment towards Facebook and in turn lure people into showing their support for the subject matter of the hoax.
The facts are simple – thousands of religiously orientated images, videos and messages circulate Facebook every single day, representing every popular religion across the globe and there has been no indication that Facebook has ever tried to remove any of these photos based on their religious content.
Ultimately it is an attempt to lure Facebook users into sharing a photo. Such tactics are often employed by like-farming Facebook pages trying to attract fans by making their posts go viral, as well as far-right racist organisations attempting to use propaganda by claiming certain subject material is “offensive” to religious minorities.