A pastor says he was falsely accused on Facebook of being a pedophile and sex trafficker - by a woman who is in the process of being investigated for felony stalking – but the social media giant says it doesn't violate their user policy.
Rich Penkoski, of West Virginia, who has spoken to OneNewsNow in the past about his ongoing fights with Facebook, says he has been hounded for months by a Facebook troll but the company never took action.
Penkoski uses his Facebook platform to preach sermons that have resulted in "hate speech" labeling and, at times, he has watched his live feed get pulled for offending people.
In a call last week to Facebook officials, which OneNewsNow recorded, Penkoski said the troll has ratcheted up the harassment.
"She went on your platform and said that I was a pedophile, a child pornographer, and a sex trafficker," he told a representative for the social media giant. "She posted a picture of an actual pedophile, not me, and said it was me as an alt-ID."
The recording was made with Facebook's permission but OneNewsNow agreed that responses would be on background, meaning the responses can't be published verbatim.
But OneNewsNow can summarize Facebook's response: too bad, Preacher.
Facebook allows criminal accusations to be made, and that it has no way of knowing if the charges are true or not, so technically calling the pastor a pedophile, child pornographer and sex trafficker is permissible.
Penkoski reported the abuse to authorities, which are investigating.
Penkoski told Facebook it shares some blame.
"My issue here," he told the company, "is this woman has put me and my family through Hell, on Facebook specifically, and Facebook did nothing. Nothing."
Facebook responded to Penkoski that it bans attacks only if they are made against someone who is part of a protected class, citing the example of a gay person - and also a professed Christian.