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It is unclear whether that censored material contained any religious expression.
It also allegedly blocked a Massachusetts pro-family website because of its conservative Christian content.
Google also has also excluded churches and other faith groups from free or discounted use of its web tool Google for nonprofits.
Colby May, senior counsel and director for the American Center for Law and Justice, said of new media’s apparent split personality, “Something else is in play.” He and others attending a panel discussion of the report suggested that social networking platforms are under a tremendous amount of pressure from various special interest groups.
For example, Google removed pages of a Norwegian anti-Church of Scientology site after it was pressured to do so by Church of Scientology lawyers.
WASHINGTON – The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) group sounded the alarm Thursday about new media outlets such as Facebook, Google and Apple, which they say have written policies that violate the fundamental rules of free expression, particularly concerning religious free speech.
The NRB released a report at the National Press Club Thursday analyzing the various content policies of social networking websites.What they found was disturbing: new media platforms Facebook, Apple, Comcast, AT&T and Google have adopted policies to censor lawful viewpoints expressing Christian views or controversial ideas on “hot button issues.” Some platforms, such as Apple’s i Tunes App Store and Google’s search engine, have already started to use those policies to remove orthodox Christian viewpoints considered “offensive” or too controversial.Former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth said, “The irony is the companies listed in this report are some of the most open companies in the world.”In a January 2010 interview with Tech Crunch founder Michael Arrington, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg praised social networking for opening people up to share “more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people.”However, Zuckerberg’s social network has removed content deemed “anti-gay,” according to the NRB report.And when Facebook, citing its outlined responsibility policies, abruptly yanked a fairly innocuous photo of two fully clothed male actors kissing from the blog post of gay rights activist Richard Metzger, it sparked criticism in the gay community, leading Facebook to repost the photo.Facebook issued a formal apology and reposted the picture.The report contrasts this incident with several others where Facebook “has permanently and unapologetically removed sexual content.”The grossest act of anti-Christian censorship, according to the report, is Apple’s removal of the Exodus International and Manhattan Declaration apps.