Facebook overlords snapped their fingers today, and just like that, purged their platform of political and social commentators Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, and Milo Yiannopoulos among others.
The social media giant announced the permanent suspension of the “dangerous individuals” for violating the company’s policies on hate speech and promoting violence.
“We’ve always banned individuals or organisations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”
Following his deletion, Paul Joseph Watson said: “Hopefully, the Trump administration will now take the issue of social media censorship seriously. They’re now just banning people for wrong think.
“There’s no pretence of enforcing rules. If you challenge them, you’re gone,” he added.
Is this the sort of thing we need as a society? You may not agree with or appreciate the banned individuals, but are we so intellectually anemic that we need a social media giant to tell us what opinions we should and should not listen to?
Last year, Brendan O’Neill spoke about the incredibly corrosive and infantilising impact censorship has on society. Speaking with Spiked Magazine, O’Neill warned: “Censorship treats us as children who have to have our ears and eyes covered by gracious people in positions of authority so that we never hear things that they’ve decided on our behalf are wrong or incorrect or offensive.
“Everyone is reduced to the level of a child and as a consequence, your moral and mental muscles get weaker and weaker because they’re never called into use,” O’Neill said.
Perhaps more concerning than that is the issue George Washington is said to have raised when he warned that censorship could lead to our own demise. “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
Other conservatives have called on the Trump administration to act, warning the social media giants are silencing the Presidents most effective political voices and allies just 18 months before the 2020 election.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Hate-speech was invented to create the illusion of virtue in shutting down and censoring unapproved speech and opinion. Branding criticisms and critiques of particular ideologies or certain policies as “hate speech” provides a way of silencing your political opponent while claiming the moral high ground in doing so.
Call unapproved opinions “hate speech”, then call “hate speech” dangerous and violent, and voila! You’ve silenced your opponents without even having to engage with their arguments. No brains required. Ideal conditions for the Left.
Right-wingers are being purged from the internet, banned from donation platforms & their personal banks, defamed by the media, physically threatened & attacked, barred from visiting countries. How much more does censorship have to escalate before you step in? @realDonaldTrump
— Brittany Pettibone (@BrittPettibone) May 2, 2019
Facebook just put @PrisonPlanet in the same category as terrorists, human traffickers, mob bosses, and serial murderers. This is clown world. https://t.co/mclH9cvbHc pic.twitter.com/RjOpQC0ah2
— Jeff Giesea🌿 (@jeffgiesea) May 2, 2019
I hope some serious lawyers agree to represent @PrisonPlanet so he can sue Facebook for smearing him as a dangerous individual. Unbelievable.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 2, 2019
Make no mistake: Facebook just made a **partisan, ideological** effort to shape global discourse on its platform 18 months before the 2020 election. If there was good faith in this, we would see Facebook's logic and rules more evenly applied across the political spectrum.
— Jeff Giesea🌿 (@jeffgiesea) May 2, 2019
Instagram banned Alex Jones & Laura Loomer today
Instagram hasn’t removed the account of the sicko arrested for threatening @benshapiro life yesterday,
Instagram hasn’t removed any of his hateful, threatening, sick content https://t.co/xe0dS9053i
— Gabe Hoffman (@GabeHoff) May 2, 2019
Every conservative should be concerned about Alex Jones, @PrisonPlanet and others getting an arbitrary ban from Facebook's platforms.
— Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer) May 2, 2019
Dear @DonaldJTrumpJr :
Facebook is silencing yours and your father’s most effective political voices and allies.
Now is the time to intervene.
If something isn’t done now you can kiss 2020 goodbye.
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) May 2, 2019
You may not like Paul, but this won’t end with him. Hope some the IDW crew speak up on this… https://t.co/VMO07HICns
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) May 2, 2019