Kirk Cameron’s movie Unstoppable was banned from Facebook this week. Well, sort of. Links to the movie were briefly blocked from the social networking site but it didn’t have anything to do with religious bigotry. According to Facebook, the movie accidentally slipped into one of its spam filters.
Spokesman Michael Kirkland told the Social News Daily that the movie was blocked by the social network’s automated anti-spam system.
Kirkland said that the URL for the movie may have been previously owned by a spam site. Facebook’s system hadn’t been refreshed with the new information and the site was automatically banned.
Kirk Cameron’s team contacted Facebook and the issue was resolved almost immediately. In fact, the problem was solved so quickly that a few people believed that Cameron had made up the story about the ban in order to promote his new movie.
Facebook uses an automated system to make sure that its users don’t encounter spam. Of course, the downside of an automated system is that it can occasionally block a legitimate site.
Facebook spokesman Kirkland said: “To protect the hundreds of millions of people who connect and share on Facebook every day, we have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware. These systems are so effective that most people who use Facebook will never encounter spam. They’re not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. This link was blocked for a very short period of time after being misidentified as a potential spam or malware site. We learn from rare cases such as these to make our systems even better.”
The issue behind Kirk Cameron’s Facebook ban had more to do with technological snafus than religious persecution but that hasn’t stopped Kirk and his fans from gloating about their victory.
After the ban was lifted, Cameron wrote: “Victory!! Friends, you did it! People tried to stop “Unstoppable” on Facebook, and because millions of us joined together as one voice, Facebook has apologized and welcomed us back! You all just demonstrated to the press (they are all calling me to talk about your amazing response!) that the communities of faith, hope, and love are, well… unstoppable.”