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Facebook pulls Islam Exposed page over claims of nudity, lawsuit threatened

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Last week, the popular Facebook page "Islam Exposed" was unpublished for the second time in a month, this time over false charges of nudity and pornography. On Friday, administrators responded with a sternly-worded five-page appeal document that threatened a lawsuit if the page is not restored, a copy of which was provided to Examiner.com.

In their letter, administrators say Facebook failed to produce a single shred of evidence.

"This is because the evidence does not exist," administrators said. "The report is unsubstantiated by facts."

They also provided a PDF file showing the activity on the page for the last several months. Our review of that file shows nothing even remotely suggestive has been posted.

Administrators also noted that the number of "likes" has "curiously declined" from 209,836 to 209,788 since the page was unpublished. Once a page is unpublished, only administrators and Facebook can see the page.

"How is this possible when our page is no longer visible to anyone other than its administrators and Facebook personnel?" administrators asked.

They also said that despite paying for advertising, their fan base has decreased rather than risen.

"This contradicts its stated goal under Ad Solutions to 'increase online traffic and conversations' by driving people to our website," the letter adds.

Administrators also accused Facebook of "systematically" violating their own rules by "imposing inexplicable blocks, bans, and removals that demonstrate indiscriminate and discriminatory practices, which single out and favor certain groups and viewpoints over others and do not comply with its own specified Community Standards." They also said Facebook has refused to abide by its own standards regarding threats, harassment and bullying.

"In fact," administrators added, "they have repeatedly targeted us and prohibited us from speaking 'freely on matters and people of public interest,' which constitutes a form of bullying, harassment, and abuse..."

The letter also cited Facebook's actions in May, when the social media giant unpublished the page after administrators received death threats. Some of those threats, they added, were serious enough to report to the FBI and Shin Bet, as at least one administrator is based in Israel. The page was reinstated, and Facebook admitted it was pulled by mistake.

Nevertheless, administrators say, Facebook has refused to take any action on the multiple threats that have been reported.

"Showing the utmost disregard and negligence for the safety of our administrators, it failed to even respond to most of our reports, to act responsibly upon them, and to comply with its own standards and terms. Instead, it penalized Islam Exposed with more bans and removals," the letter says.

Administrators cited specific examples of what they say are Facebook's discriminatory practices, including the false flagging of articles that mention Islam. Facebook, for example, flagged three of this writer's articles as "malicious" or "unsafe," but the flag was removed from one article after we contacted the social media site. The other two articles are still flagged as of this writing. As we have previously reported, this has happened to other writers as well.

One administrator was slapped with a 30-day ban after Facebook removed a post essentially asking visitors to abide by Facebook's community standards. Facebook said the post was pulled because it allegedly violated their community standards.

The letter also said Facebook engaged in defamation and libel by accusing administrators of posting nudity or pornography.

"This has resulted in serious damage to our reputations, as well as our mission, and it has inflicted injurious consequences on us both personally and as a group," they said. Administrators also say Facebook has "hindered our ability to disseminate information to and for our associates, which has also resulted in significant monetary losses for some of our administrators."

"Please know that we take each of these matters extremely seriously, as not only clear-cut cases of defamation and libel but also of misrepresentation, harassment, negligence, and noncompliance of terms and agreement with users, all of which are actionable under the law," they added.

If Facebook does not reverse their actions, administrators say they "will be left no other recourse than to pursue legal action."

A petition placed at Causes.com also demands Facebook reinstate the page. As of this writing, the petition has received just over 1,200 signatures.

Facebook did not respond to our request for comments.

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