When a 10-year-old North Carolina girl attempted to name God as her favorite thing about the holidays, Disney's website censored the word and reprimanded her for the use of "profanity."
While still excited over her birthday celebrations earlier this month, newly ten-year-old Lilly Anderson of Angier, North Carolina took to the Disney Channel's official website to answer some questions regarding what she's thankful for during the Thanksgiving holiday.
"God, my family, my church and my friends," Lilly typed, but a pop-up on the screen in red letters told her to "Please be nice!" and not use profanity in the online community. Lilly then called her mother into the room to figure out what she may have been doing wrong.
"It was Lilly's idea alone to include God in her post," Lilly's mom, Julie Anderson, told Fox News. "As a matter of fact, she was in another room from me, and she came and got me when it wouldn't allow her to post."
The family tried several different word combinations to figure out where the offensive word was, and when they removed the word "God" from the post, the Disney website approved the girl's note.
Fox News' Todd Starnes was contacted by Anderson about the questionable incident, so he tried it out for himself. Sure enough, the website would not allow any mention of the word "God" in his posts either.
When Starnes first reached out to Disney for clarification, he was told that the word was not intentionally blocked and they'll have a team take a look at it. But a follow-up statement was released by Disney soon afterwards.
"Disney employs word filtering technology to prevent profanity from appearing on our websites," the statement reads. "Unfortunately, because so many people attempt to abuse the system and use the word "God" in conjunction with profanity, in an abundance of caution our system is forced to catch and prevent any use of the word on our websites. The company would have been happy to explain our filtering technology to the inquiring family had they contacted us."
Although Julie says that she recognizes how the word can be used in conjunction with profanity, it still seems to send the wrong message to kids about faith. "I'm not at all anti-Disney but to shame a ten-year-old, to tell her to 'please be nice' for thanking God and sharing her faith with others is what is upsetting to me as a mother," Lilly's mother said.
"We've always told her that inevitably there would come a day when she would be discriminated against for her faith but we never thought Disney would be the source," she continued.
"I want my daughter, and all children of faith, to know that it is OK to share God and Jesus with their peers," Julie told Starnes. "I want her to know that she doesn't have to be silent about her faith. I want her to be strong and soldier on."