MENLO PARK, Calif. (RNS) What qualifies as “fake news” to one person, might just be another’s holiest scripture. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is coming under fire from religious groups who fear their news of miracles and revelations will be labeled “fictional” as the social media site cracks down on fake news.
Take these headlines from news outlets that cover religious news, including RNS, and try to “prove” they actually “happened” in secular terms:
- “Mother Teresa miracle approved“
- “Religion may be a miracle drug“
- “Mormon LGBT ban was ‘revealed’ to the prophet as God’s will, says Elder Nelson“
- “Orthodox rabbis’ statement calls Christianity part of God’s plan“
- “Is Ebola a curse from God? Some African Christian leaders think so“
- “Sex outside of marriage can be holy, according to this Christian minister“
- “Planned Parenthood Abortionist Thanks God for ‘Guiding My Hand’ When Killing Babies“
- “Franklin Graham Calls on Christians to Join ‘Divine Intervention’ Prayer for Political Conventions“
- “God Did Not Send Jesus Too Soon, Says Billy Graham“
- “Donald Trump: President by the Sovereign Intervention of God“
- “Growing Demand for Exorcisms as More Unchurched Americans Seek Help With Demonic Possession“
- “Is Dead Sea Fulfilling Bible’s End Times Prophecy?“
Can outside sources verify what God believes to be holy? Can anyone verify God’s existence? Can anyone think of more hypothetical questions like this to underscore the point?
As religious leaders expressed their concerns to The Literalist, The Literalist in turn became increasingly worried about Facebook deciding what is “fake” and “real” news. So The Literalist sent a short note to Facebook headquarters reading, “Now, don’t take this literally, but The Literalist encourages you to let users use reason when it comes to fake news. Satire included.”