Taking the Bitter with the Tweet: Adventist Church Criticized for Social Media Posts
- On Feb. 27, 2022, the Church’s tweet about Adventist education turned into “an open sharing of painful memories.”
- On Feb. 28, 2022, the Church reported that its YouTube channel had been hacked and removed, but subsequent tweets with YouTube’s support team suggested the channel was taken down for violating community guidelines.
- Another tweet on Feb. 28, 2022, about pride and sexuality had tempers flaring among Twitter users.
04 March 2022 | Social networking site Twitter has been aflutter over some posts on the official Adventist Church account, @AdventistChurch, this week.
The responses flooded in, with topics including blatant racism, bullying that was tolerated, high tuition costs, inappropriate conduct of faculty, incompetence of teachers, lack of mental health resources, low academic standards and sexual assaults.
As of this date, the tweet had 300 responses.
One Twitter user identified as Larry Becker said, “This tweet seems like such a bad idea. I’m wondering where the public relations people were on this one.”
The next day, on Feb. 28, 2022, @AdventistChurch tweeted, “What started as a fun question turned into an open sharing of painful memories. Millions of students graduate every decade in Adventist Schools around the world. Let’s keep this conversation going so we can make things better in #adventistEducation.”
That same day, the Communication Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists posted an article on its website, “Special Note on the Adventist Church’s YouTube Channel” that said it had been “hacked and removed.”
Twitter user and former managing editor of Spectrum Magazine Alisa Williams reported @Adventist Church appealed for help on Twitter to YouTube’s support services account, @TeamYouTube. YouTube’s support team suggested @AdventistChurch submit an appeal if their channel had been suspended for violating community guidelines. @Adventist Church replied that it had already submitted the form earlier in the day.
According to YouTube’s Community Guidelines, violations include content that intends “to scam, mislead, spam or defraud other users”; content with “hate speech, predatory behaviour, graphic violence, malicious attacks and content that promotes harmful or dangerous behavior”; and content that includes “certain types of misinformation that can cause real-world harm, like promoting harmful remedies or treatments, certain types of technically manipulated content or content interfering with democratic processes.”
YouTube typically operates on a system that involves a warning and three strikes, but “sometimes a single case of severe abuse will result in channel termination without warning,” according to an article about YouTube’s Community Guidelines strikes.
Also on Feb. 28, 2022, @AdventistChurch posted a series of tweets about pride. The first tweet included the statements, “Let’s talk about #pride. Not the one associated with sexuality.” The tweet, which as of this date has 158 responses, generated indignation and confusion among many.
Twitter user “dy n sam” said in response, “I get what you’re trying to do, but that’s not how you do it. The math isn’t mathing.”
Moreover, the Church’s “5th #truth about #pride ” tweet included the statements, “Satan is quite happy for your [sic] to think of #pornography or #gluttony as beneath you. As long as your abstinence is motivated by pride, you are lost in the worst way possible.”
Twitter user SDA Caricatures responded with, “Did you stop to think about what people might get if they click on hashtag pornography? WELL DID YOU? 😂”
On Twitter, adding a “#” to the beginning of an unbroken word or phrase creates a hashtag. When using a hashtag in a tweet, it becomes linked to all other tweets that include the same hashtag.
However, while someone reading this particular tweet by the denomination could be led to pornographic content, conversely, someone who was looking up content under this hashtag could conceivably be led to the denomination’s content.
Adventist Today contacted the General Conference, which is responsible for the @AdventistChurch Twitter account, for information on who posted the tweets, but had not received a reply at the time of publishing.
(Photo: The home page for the official Twitter account of the Adventist denomination is seen on March 4, 2022. The Adventist denomination has come under fire for recent tweets. Photo via screenshot.)