Oops. Our bad.
Facebook says it made a mistake when they blocked Kirk Cameron and his legion of fans from promoting his upcoming faith-based movie, “Unstoppable.”
Cameron, the star of the 1980’s television show “Growing Pains,” announced on his fan page last Thursday that Facebook had blocked anyone from posting any links to the website promoting his film because the content was labeled “abusive and unsafe.”
After more than 500,000 of his Facebook fans began spreading news of the censorship, the social networking giant rescinded the block without explanation.
But now – Facebook is telling Fox News that the block was simply a mistake made by an automated system that detects spam.
“To protect the hundreds of millions of people who connect and share on Facebook every day, we have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware,” the spokesperson told Fox News in a written statement.
Facebook stressed that there was not malware on Cameron’s site and he was not spamming.
“They’re not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes,” the spokesperson said, referring to the automated systems. “This link was blocked for a very short period of time after being misidentified as a potential spam or malware site.”
Cameron quickly posted a message praising his fans for helping spread the word about the plight of his website.
“This is a real victory,” he said, thanking his fans and supporters for reaching out to Facebook. “If we work together, we really do have a voice.”
Cameron is now a well-known Christian producer, actor and evangelist. He’s starred in a number of faith-based films including the “Left Behind” films and most recently, “Monumental,” a documentary about the nation’s founders and their biblical principles.
“Unstoppable,” which is expected in theaters in the fall, aims to answer questions about suffering and recounts the personal experience of a Cameron friend whose son battled cancer.
The religious nature of the film led Cameron to speculate that perhaps the Christian content might have led to the block.
“I would understand if there was something truly unsafe about my stuff,” Cameron told Fox News. “But I would encourage people to watch the trailer. Do you find anything offensive about faith, hope and love in the time of a tragedy?”
The film’s website does not contain any graphic photographs, video or profanity.
“This is my most personal film about faith, hope and love and about why God allows bad things to happen to good people,” Cameron wrote. “What is ‘abusive’ or ‘unsafe’ about that?”
However, Facebook denied that the block had anything to do with the religious nature of the film.
In recent months, the social networking website has come under criticism from conservatives and Christians who said their pages have been either blocked or banned because of “abusive” content.
Earlier this year, the “Chicks on the Right” Facebook page was shut down after they posted a message criticizing the White House. Facebook later apologized for that incident.