Fact Check

Post with Bible Verse Labeled by Facebook as 'Sensitive Content'

The post, which was given a "violent or graphic content" label, displayed an image with these words from Psalm 46: "Be still, and know that I am God."

Published Nov 21, 2022

 (Facebook)
Image Via Facebook
Claim:
A Facebook post showed a "sensitive content" label over an image displaying the words, "Be still, and know that I am God."
Context

This appeared to be an isolated incident. We searched Facebook for the same Bible verse and found a seemingly endless wall of similar image posts that had no labels covering them.

On Nov. 16, 2022, Facebook user Lib Grimmett posted an image with words from a popular verse often shared by people of the Christian faith. "Be still, and know that I am God," read the Bible verse from the book of Psalms. Oddly, however, Grimmett's post was displayed with a label that said, "Sensitive content. This photo may show violent or graphic content." The label remained visible as of Nov. 21.

An image posted to Facebook with a Bible verse saying, Be still, and know that I am God, was covered with a sensitive content label.

Another user attempted to post the image as well, saying, "Facebook has censored this Bible verse that says, 'Be still and Know that I am God.' I am seriously considering deleting my account and figuring out another way to stay in touch with you all."

An image posted to Facebook with a Bible verse saying, Be still, and know that I am God, was covered with a sensitive content label.

A "Learn More" button on the label added the context from Facebook and Meta.

An image posted to Facebook with a Bible verse saying, Be still, and know that I am God, was covered with a sensitive content label.

It read as follows:

This photo doesn't go against our Community Standards, but it may show graphic content.

We use either technology or a review team to identify content that should be covered.

We cover graphic content so people can choose whether to see it.

The label disappeared from the posts shortly after we reached out to Facebook by email. As of this writing, we had not yet received a response.

It's likely that the label was human error or simply the wrong decision by the detection "technology" that the "Learn More" message mentioned. We note, for example, that a search of Facebook for the same Bible verse showed a massive wall of posts that had no similar "sensitive content" label added over them.

We sometimes receive reader inquiries asking if Facebook "censors" various kinds of posts, such as those with political or religious themes. In this case, the image showed a "sensitive content" label, but again, this appeared to be an anomaly when compared to other posts of the same content.

In 2015, we reported on a rumor that claimed the social media platform had "censored" an image of Santa Claus kneeling before baby Jesus. A spokesperson for the company later told us that the incident was an error. We also published a fact check about a false claim that said Facebook would be banning all Christian-themed content.

Source:

"Psalm 46:10 - New International Version." Bible Gateway, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2046%3A10&version=NIV.

Updates

Nov. 21, 2022: This story was updated to note that the label disappeared from the image posts shortly after we reached out to Facebook for comment.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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