No, this wasn't the result of some vast outbreak of homophobia in Middle England. Rather it was the result of the Facebook moderators not quite understanding the details of the English English language. At which point I get to make one of my traditional points: precisely because the internet is global it's going to be very difficult to police it to the standards that are considered acceptable everywhere. The basic story is here:
The man who was banned from Facebook for writing 'I like faggots' after he was accused of being homophobic Robert Wilkes, 54, was banned from the site for writing, 'I like faggots'
Now yes, in the US even the use of the word "faggot" is considered derogatory: there is, at least as far as I know, no group trying to reclaim in in the manner that some are "queer". Thus, while saying "I like" would seem to indicate not homophobia but possibly homophilia the simple use of the word itself is felt to be, as above, derogatory. However, over here in English English, while we're aware of the US usage (how could we not be?) it also has another meaning in our language.
Robert Wilkes, 54, was referring to the traditional British meat balls which are usually made from butchers’ off-cuts minced together with onion and breadcrumbs....
The statement actually referred to his liking for this dish. Butcher's off-cuts there though is a little kind to them. They're actually made from all of the bits that can't be put into sausages, the odd scraps of liver and hearts and so on: and when you know what bits can be put into British sausages this is not a comforting thought. They're also always served in a thick onion gravy: the naked English faggot is not something to be lightly contemplated.
Over and above the Friday afternoon fun of this particular story there is a reasonably serious point as well. Which is that teams who are moderating comments and social media sites should probably be trying to include native speakers of the various regional and national dialects of English. Because this isn't the only difference just between English English and American English. In my posts here you will see me using colour and favour, the conventions around defence, licence and defense, license, are different. Sure, those don't matter at all in this context. But the word "fag" in English refers to a cigarette although we all now know the US meaning too. Fanny in English is a much more intimately feminine body part than the gluteus maximus that it refers to in American: fanny pack is not really a phrase that translates well into English.
Various courts are deciding that host sites are, at times, legally responsible for the contents of what is being said in the comments. We had the EU's top court insisting that an Estonian site was liable for the libel contained therein just a couple of weeks back. But what is it that the site is actually liable for will depend upon the specific variant of a language that is being used at that site. Having the English talking about faggots on a cooking site is not going to be about homophobia: and whoever is monitoring and mediating comments on a site for legal or reputational risk needs to understand that.
I'm not suggesting that only native English English speakers should be used to moderate sites populated by the English, Americans for Americans and so on. Rather, that at some point in the moderation team there should be someone fully aware of the linguistic (and quite possibly social mores as well) details of the audience of said site. And that this works both ways as well. Both to make sure that insults, libels and threats are properly removed but also to ensure that, as here, something that is entirely unremarkable by local linguistic standards does not get removed.