Last week Kirk Cameron made headlines with his accusations that Facebook and YouTube censored him by blocking the URL and trailer of his new movie, Unstoppable. Facebook responded to the allegations Monday.
Cameron’s film was marked as spam on Facebook and YouTube, preventing anyone from posting a link or trailer to the film. After Cameron encouraged his followers to protest, both sites lifted the ban.
“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 social media giant said in a statement.
“These systems are so effective that most people who use Facebook will never encounter spam,” the statement continued. “They're not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. This link was blocked for a very short period of time after being misidentified as a potential spam or malware site. We learn from rare cases such as these to make our systems even better.”
After Cameron’s team contacted Facebook, the issue was resolved so quickly, some were skeptical that the actor and producer made up his story to gain publicity.
Cameron posted on his Facebook page Thursday night, “Calling all friends of Faith, Family, and Freedom! Facebook has officially ‘blocked’ me and you (and everyone else) from posting any link to my new movie at UnstoppableTheMovieDOTcom, labeling the content as ‘abusive,’ ‘unsafe,’ and ‘spammy!’ I can't even write the real link here, or Facebook would block this post too!!”
“We have been officially shut down by Facebook and unable to get any response from them,” he said. “This is my most personal film about faith, hope, and love, and about why God allows bad things to happen to good people. What is ‘abusive’ or ‘unsafe’ about that?!”
On Friday afternoon, Cameron publicly thanked his fans for their support.
“Victory!! Friends, you did it! People tried to stop Unstoppable on Facebook, and because millions of us joined together as one voice, Facebook has apologized and welcomed us back,” he wrote.
He said his supporters demonstrated to the press “that the communities of faith, hope, and love are, well … unstoppable.”
Cameron then went on to say the trailer has now been blocked by YouTube and once again asked for help.
“Now can you all talk to YouTube??” he asked. “They have blocked and labeled the Unstoppable trailer as ‘spam,’ ‘scam,’ and ‘deceptive.’ We did it once, we can do it again. Please share this post with all your friends and encourage YouTube to unblock my UnstoppableTheMovie trailer.”
YouTube also removed the ban, and Cameron once again thanked his fans on Friday night.
“You did it again!! Because of your firm, loving, and clear voice, not only did Facebook welcome us back, YouTube also removed its block on our Unstoppable movie trailer,” he posted. “We are back online with full access.”
YouTube has yet to publicly respond to why the Unstoppable trailer was briefly blocked.