Facebook puts Jesus Christ on list of people not protected from bullying

The Facebook logo is displayed on their website in an illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, February 1, 2017. | Reuters/Regis Duvignau

Social media giant Facebook has recently tightened its policies against bullying, but it has reportedly excluded Jesus Christ from a list of people who are protected from abuse.

The Guardian reported that Facebook has made some changes to its anti-bullying policy in recent months, but the social media giant has come up with a list of people that are "excluded from protection."

"We want to exclude certain people who are famous or controversial in their own right and don't deserve our protection," a document from Facebook noted.

In the document, Jesus Christ is lumped together with other notorious public figures such as Osama bin Laden and the mass murderer Charles Manson. Also included in the list are rapists, domestic abusers, political and religious leaders before 1900, and people who violate hate speech rules.

Training manuals for moderators define bullying as "an attack on private persons with the intent to upset or silence them." However, the social media giant noted that its anti-bullying policy does not extend to public figures.

The documents indicated that politicians, journalists, people with more than 100,000 fans on any social media platform, and those who have been frequently mentioned in the news within the last two years, fall under the website's definition of a public figure.

However, the social media platform explained that entertainment stars such as singer Rihanna could be protected if posts about them include their photo with a caption that matches a "cruelty topic."

"Rihanna is famous in her own right for being a singer. She was also a victim of domestic violence. You can mock her for her singing, but not for being a victim of domestic violence," the document stated.

Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, explained that posts about public figures can still be removed from the website if it "crosses the line into hate speech, threats, or harassment."

Another document stated that the website allows video footages of physical bullying if it is provided without any commentary.

Facebook has previously told its moderators not to remove posts that mock people without disabilities or serious diseases. But the social media giant has now insisted that it does not allow mocking of people with disabilities.

The social media website's policies have often affected people of faith such as Elizabeth Johnston, whose Facebook account, "The Activist Mommy," was suspended after she cited passages from the Bible, stating that homosexuality is a "detestable" sin and an "abomination."

Facebook later restored Johnston's account and said that the removal of her post was done by mistake and "in error."