Don’t worry, Facebook faithful — your right to express your religious views on the social network will not be curbed starting March 20. If you’ve seen or shared the above macro, it is now incumbent upon you to do your citizen’s duty and inform your followers that it is just another Facebook hoax.
Spotted by Sophos’ Naked Security blog, Facebook’s “No Religion” campaign claims that network admins will lock users out of their accounts starting March 20 if they are caught discussing religion and faith. The message, allegedly from Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, claims that the social network will become more “logical” and “adult” after the religion purge.
As with every viral hoax, there are a few tell-tale signs that betray Facebook’s “No Religion” campaign as little more than some random, armchair douchebaggery. First, there’s the issue of spelling. Both “permanant” and Facebook founder “Zukerberg” are misspelled, and AllFacebook claims that even “campain” is in error on some versions of the macro.
Second, Facebook usually makes important announcements on their blog, and has never used sharing on the network itself as a way to disseminate updates.
Third, Facebook’s legal department can’t actually create and enforce new laws. They could feasibly ban religious chatter by including it in their Community Standards, but even that would depend on whether said chatter is regarded as hate speech or includes violent threats. Enforcement would depend on other users flagging posts, Facebook’s investigation and possible intervention, and in extreme cases, post deletion and locking a user out of an account.
This campaign skips quite a few of those steps, and threatens a severe admin crackdown. Facebook has made some controversial calls in the past, but normally plays softball on most community issues (see most recently: gun sales). Frankly, this just isn’t in their character.
Lastly, the “No Religion” campaign shares the aesthetic (and much of the language) of last week’s “No Swearing” campaign. That was debunked as a hoax pretty handily.
Rest assured, you can continue to share all of the religious Thomas Kinkade macros you can get your hands on.
Tired of seeing viral hoaxes like Facebook’s “No Religion” campaign? Hit the share buttons below. It’s the moral thing to do! Also, check out more of SocialNewsDaily’s “Hoaxed” series in the drop-down menu at the top of the page.