UPDATE 5/10/17: After Facebook briefly restored the Atheist Republic's page, it has been taken down again. Given some of the malicious messages that the admins have received from religious people who are angry about the site's message, it is probably safe to say that this all follows more coordinated flagging attacks.
UPDATE 5/9/17: The Atheist Republic's Facebook page has been restored, at least for now. But the page is under review for 24 hours, during which time the admins must remove all "offensive" and "anti-Islamic" posts. The problem, however, is that the admins are not exactly sure what Facebook deems to be hate speech.
Atheist Republic, a group that has operated a Facebook page with over 1.6M followers has been unpublished by Facebook following what may have been a Muslim campaign filing complaints for anti-Muslim propaganda.
Those complaints, of course, are completely unfounded. This is a case, once again, of the religiously faithful trying to completely silence those that disagree with them. The added tragedy in this case, however, is that Atheist Republic as an organization has worked to help non-believers and apostates in Islamic countries flee to seek asylum.
Facebook is among the few places where atheists and ex-Muslims in these Islamic countries are able to share their views and talk openly and honestly about the difficulties they face. Facebook shutting down this page could absolutely result in some of these people being killed because their means of finding a way out has been cut off.
Allie Jackson, the CEO of Atheist Republic, has posted about the situation on her private Facebook page here, and said: “For over 6 years, Atheist Republic admins have been banned on our personal accounts and have had perfectly acceptable posts removed, because people have harassed us over content they didn't like. Facebook knows their algorithms are abused by people and groups. They blame us for not following terms of service, or community standards, while the people harassing us get rewarded for organizing complaints over content they disagreed with.”
If you or anyone you know has information that could help Allie Jackson and the Atheist Republic team appeal this shutdown, please contact Allie Jackson via her private Facebook page, or through the Atheist Republic website. You can find the website here.
And hopefully Facebook will do something about the fact that their algorithms and complaint features get so easily abused by zealots who cannot take criticism of their religion.