On 23 November 2016, the Facebook page “I Am Proud To Be English” shared a photograph of a bacon sandwich alongside a meme implying the image was banned because it was offensive to Muslims:
The meme read:
I actually had this reported on my timeline as been offensive!!
How many people dare to like and share it?
Tens of thousands answered the call, though many of the post’s top comments expressed skepticism about the claim on several levels:
At least one person noticed that claims that the bacon sandwich was reported as offensive did not mesh with the wide circulation of the photograph after it was posted:
Doubters were correct in suspecting the bacon sandwich picture was unlikely to be flagged by Facebook. The social network’s Community Standards held that only the following content is subject to review and removal: Direct Threats, Self-Injury, Dangerous Organizations, Bullying and Harassment, Attacks on Public Figures, Criminal Activity, Sexual Violence and Exploitation, and Regulated Goods. We could find no appropriate category under which the image would be restricted via a report.
In response to an earlier but similar rumor, a representative for Facebook told us that images which do not violate Facebook’s Community Standards would not be removed from their platform.
The “share this bacon sandwich” meme was one of several that suggested that Muslims are offended by the mere sight of pork, or simply offended in manners that were rumored to affect citizens of the UK or United States. Similar claims often circulate about disabled veterans, poppies, and Nativity scenes, but all versions are very likely to forms of likebait (or like-farming), aiming to appeal to the emotional responses of social media users in order to promote or popularize unrelated companies or Facebook interests in a bait and switch.