The All-Powerful "BAN" button: Catholics, let's remember the example we set on Social Media


#1

First off, let me thank Catholic Answers Forums for generally being (what I perceive to be) tolerant and responsible. I have been a member here for a little over 10 years, and I have hardly had any trouble with my threads and posts.

However, recently I got BANNED from a Catholic Facebook group. And NO, it’s not because I’m not orthodox. I consider myself the typical orthodox Catholic — as well as respectful. Anyway, I don’t want to get into the details. But I do want to say this:

The experience of being BANNED from an online religious group can REALLY have profound effects on how you associate that experience with the religion more generally. I have to admit, being banned caused me to have feelings of disgust and irritation. Even at the Catholic world more generally.

I can only imagine what such an experience would be like for someone who is already on the fringe. Who is contemplating leaving the Church. Or for someone who is not Catholic. Such negative online experience will often just confirm their biases against Catholics and leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to start a rant. But I think it was a good wake-up call in how we deal with fellow Christians and others online. We never know what message we are sending.

Does anyone have a similar experience? How did it make you feel about the greater association? For example, if you were banned from a religious group, did it make you feel uncomfortable with that religion more generally?


#2

*Technically I wasn’t banned. Rather, my attempts at conversation were consistently being deleted. So effectively, it was if I was banned.


#3

I tried to join a group that had pictures of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart. I wasn’t let in. I figured out later it was some bunch of rad trads who probably thought my social media with bands and videos and beer on it was too much fun for them. Fortunately I don’t need some group to be a Catholic.


#4

I figured out later it was some bunch of rad trads who probably thought my social media with bands and videos and beer

Catholics disapproving of beer?? hmmm… JK. I’m sorry :frowning:

Fortunately I don’t need some group to be a Catholic.

For me, I think it’s the nature of the conversation. If it seems like you’re not being heard, or if you don’t “fit in,” then it may seem like that it’s not “your church.” Even if this isn’t logical, it can sure feel that way. So like, if I were banned from CAF after 10 years, I would really start to second-guess the kind of Church I’m in — even if it’s just an emotional reaction. The Facebook group was a theology group, and it was hard to defend Pope Francis there. It made it feel like I couldn’t be Catholic and “think” a certain way, if you know what I mean.


#5

Thank you for this reminder. We need to as best we can walk with people as they experience feelings of anger, shock, disgust and fear.

And keep an eye open for self-banishing types. Sometimes a door is slammed hoping for a “dont go, we will miss you.”


#6

Try adding some red wine to your feed.
“Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!”

― Hilaire Belloc


#7

@catholic1seeks , I was once banned from a Catholic forum for about 6 months .

I never found out why .

Someone was posting about our Royal Family inaccurately , and I persisted in correcting this person . I think that may have been the reason why .

No it didn’t effect my relationship with anybody or any religious group . It was a bit annoying at first because I enjoyed going on the forum , but that feeling soon passed away .

In general I look with many misgivings at social media .

A while ago I was reading a reflection in a Columban Missionary magazine . I share some of it with you .

It reads : " It is only right that we should question our use of the social media . While not allowing it to consume all our time and turn us into addicts , we can ask ourselves if we use it simply to escape ourselves , to avoid boredom , or to build up an admiring group of followers . It need not be like this . We are “connectors” , people who want to bond with others , form relationships , develop friendships . Today , thanks to the gift of modern technology , we are able to link with others across the world and share ideas and skills to build up hope and bring peace . When we choose to use this wonderful gift for the good of others , to encourage them and not to pull them down , we become apostles of hope in this digital age . To choose otherwise is to quench the spirit .

““You cannot serve two masters , " Jesus said… If we spend an inordinate amount of time on social media , if we allow it to absorb us totally , whom are we following ? " Where your treasure is , there will your heart be also .”. When we find God in our clever digital tools , using them to build and to nourish , then we are indeed blessed and the Kingdom grows .”


#8

I’m sort of reminded of this post a friend shared on Facebook the other day. (Just scratch women and make it people) I love the message and almost shared it myself but I didn’t want to have to deal with any controversy surrounding Glennon Doyle.
“Life can be lonely. Stand in horseshoes.”


#9

I think anyone who gets upset for being “banned” from any online group needs to take a step back and evaluate their relationship with technology.


#10

If you get banned, you get banned. Water under the bridge.

If people don’t care to talk to you, who needs them?

The internet is a huge place, if you aren’t welcome in one place, move on to somewhere else and you’ll be welcome with open arms.

Now, all of that being said- there is a lack of proper Netiquette out there in 2018.

More than 20 years when I bought the Gateway 2000 PC and set it up,they included a little brochure about politeness on the internet and getting along with others. Not saying you aren’t doing that, but there are a lot of people who aren’t.


#12

Facebook as I understand, is going through it’s own problems with 1st amendment issues, as in deliberately seeking and blocking / deleting, anything conservative.

I avoid social medias like facebook etc.


#13

Are you sure this isn’t related to ego.

I have been suspended several times in CAF, so my initial thoughts…ego driven How dare they suspend me, my opinion is important, they just don’t understand the Aussie vernacular.
It had no effect on my love for God, and taught me a bit of humility.

And a bit of respect for the opinions of others.

What exactly did you do to get banned, learn from it


#14

I’m no less a Catholic for being banned from a Catholic website than a Gone With the Wind fan for being banned from a GWTW forum.
Although sometimes I have foot-in-mouth disease, so…


#15

There are a couple of people whom I’ve come across on Facebook who make it very clear that when they call their groups/pages “Catholic” they only mean Latin Rite. Easternerns are not welcome. Oh, well.


#16

YES. Within the last year, I was thrown out of a FB Catholic mothers’ group because (wait for it) I dared to oppose a meme shared by a group administrator that championed eliminating all Jesuits from the Catholic Church. I pointed out that those Jesuits with whom the admin and others had problems aren’t the whole of the order, that the order has produced tremendously positives for all of humanity over time, that our current pope is a Jesuit and so folks who liked the meme were actively calling to get rid of the pope. I also dared to “like” a post by someone else who said the meme was a disgrace. And suddenly, “you don’t really fit with this group.” :roll_eyes:

Yes, it hurt. It felt as though I wasn’t good enough for fellow Catholics. I was being shut out by women I assumed were like me – mothers who want to raise their children in the faith. I’m part of another FB group for Catholic mothers and it turns out, several of us have been kicked out of group x. I now feel quite comfortable with it – perhaps it’s a badge of honor to be removed from a group that uses the name Catholic but acts quite differently. :slight_smile:


#18

Catholic groups on FB don’t represent the Catholic Church at large- they represent the mindset of a group of people who want to chat with other Catholics who share that particular mindset, or that particular spirituality, etc. So being banned from a Catholic group simply means you don’t fit in with those people, not that you don’t fit in the Church.

For example, I’m a member of a Latin Mass group on FB. The whole reason I’m a member there is to communicate with like-minded people who also like the Latin Mass and have a trad view of the world and of the Church. If I saw posts on there that didn’t align with that view, I would wonder why that person is in the group. Not that they should be kicked out, but I do wonder why they would be interested in a Latin Mass group if they didn’t like the Latin Mass, for example, and weren’t interested in learning.

If you don’t fit in with some people, like someone else said, there are many other groups out there that will align to your views more closely. I’m not at all surprised that there are Catholic groups out there who have critical things to say about Pope Francis, and some might be more vocal about it than others.


#19

I’m puzzled as to why they would exclude Eastern Catholics . Are they confusing it with Eastern Orthodox? I know that there are a lot of Catholics who don’t know the difference, unfortunately, but one would think that if the group is large enough there would be a few people who could clarify.


#20

I don’t get it either. Anyone who has tried to question it or explain has been booted out of the groups, with a post that specifies that the group is for “our ROMAN Catholic faith”. It’s bizarre.


#21

I’ve seen long - time, prolific posters banned here, with no explanation and no recourse. These are not people known for problematic posts, people who have made valuable contributions to the conversation.


#22

Apparently when St Francis was beaten, stripped and robbed he picked himself up and went off naked singing Gods praises! Now that’s what I call resilience based on strong belief in the good God.


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