In a furious outburst on Facebook on Monday night, 55-year-old radio presenter Jürgen Domian said the social network was trying to silence “critical questions” about the new pope.
“It’s monstrous,” wrote the presenter in a post reacting to the “censorship,” which by Tuesday lunchtime had been shared 28,000 times and received over 3,000 comments.
Domian said he believed Facebook had taken down the posts after receiving complaints from Catholic users.
“Clearly fanatical supporters of the [Catholic] church kicked up such a fuss with Facebook that they buckled,” he wrote “It’s downright shocking.”
Domian said Facebook told him his post about the pope which in his words contained “a few critical questions,” but was “completely harmless,” did not meet their guidelines.
Several other posts were also removed in which Domian waded into debates on gay marriage and emergency contraception for rape victims – sparked by an incident in which a rape victim was turned away by two Catholic hospitals in the western city of Cologne earlier this year.
Catholic journalist and commentator Martin Lohmann prompted outrage at the weekend when he told chat show host Günter Jauch that if his own daughter was raped he would not approve of her taking the morning after pill.
Lohmann later complained on another show that Jauch’s question about his daughter had been inappropriate. Domian dismissed this defence as “a load of bullshit!” in a post since removed by administrators.