How was the article?

1471511cookie-checkFacebook’s Coordinated Censorship Of Milo, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan Criticized For Overreach
Industry News
3 May 2019

Facebook’s Coordinated Censorship Of Milo, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan Criticized For Overreach

Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Laura Loomer, Paul Joseph Watson, and Paul Nehlen have all been banned from Facebook and Instagram. The ban was a coordinated affair that was organized between Facebook and select media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Verge, and CNN, according to a report from Buzzfeed.

The real news here isn’t that all of the aforementioned individuals were banned from Facebook for what the company labeled as being “dangerous”, but rather that it was a coordinated push from Facebook and the media.

What’s more is that the bans actually went out AFTER they were announced.

This was called out by Buzzfeed’s Ryan Mac, who was live-tweeting while the announcements were taking place. Some of the individuals who were banned were informing their followers about it across their accounts on Facebook and Instagram before the accounts were permanently shut down.

This kind of dog-wagging censorship didn’t even escape the scrutiny of those on the Left.

Director of litigation at the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, Ted Frank, pointed out the obviousness of the coordination, as well as some of the mistakes inherent in the coordination. In a multi-part Twitter thread, Frank wrote…

“Why is everyone calling Farrakhan “far right”? I have no inside information, but what happened is pretty obvious and easy to reverse-engineer if you’ve seen sausage being made in crisis communications.

“Facebook has a PR problem: everyone is mad at it because and Alex Jones types are using the site profitably. Employees are probably even madder about it internally than the external pressure from politicians.

“So Facebook convenes meetings and decides to have a purge-the-far-right policy. Someone comes up with a list, perhaps culled from SPLC (though not indiscriminately doing some spotcnecks) and other bad publicity, maybe internal complaints.

“Media relations notes that the policy solves a PR problem they’ve been having, so issues an embargoed briefing to a bunch of reporters giving them a heads up that they’ll be banning a lot of far right wing accounts.

“Meanwhile a token conservative at one of the Facebook meetings points out that FB is also getting grief from Republicans about bias, and that banning only one side of the aisle could create other political problems. So FB finds a token to also ban who isn’t affiliated with the right, picks Farrakhan, plugs him into the list. But the internal policy is still “purge the far right” and that’s how it’s been explained to the communications staffers who in turn explain it to the media.

“The communications staffers are in their own California bubble and don’t change the thrust of the briefing even after inserting Farrakhan’s name into the list as an edit.

“The media is in a hurry and takes the description at face value and parrots the press release without questioning it because it’s faster than doing real reporting, and, besides, why would you ban someone who isn’t far right, since all right wingers are evil?

“Add careless copy editing, and bingo, multiple media outlets simultaneously publish stories and tweets and headlines calling Farrakhan “far right.” Be happy that the echo chamber remembered to also ban Farrakhan as a sop to pretend there wasn’t bias in original decision.”

Frank is correct.

A perfect example of this is The Washington Post mistakenly labeling Louis Farrakhan as “Far-Right”. They later had to rectify this hasty mistake when they issued a retraction.

But it’s not just the coordination and the media’s very apparent visage of collusion that has people worried, it’s the fact that so nonchalantly we see how the media is backing big-tech to silence political dissidents to the mainstream narrative.

A Facebook spokesperson even told CNN that groups, fan-pages, and individuals espousing praise and support for the banned individuals could also be removed, with CNN Business reporting…

“In some instances, when Facebook bans an individual or organization, it also restricts others from expressing praise or support for them on its platforms, the spokesperson said, adding that the company continues to view such action as the correct approach. That policy may not apply to any or all of the people banned Thursday, however.

“The spokesperson added that Facebook will remove groups, pages and accounts created to represent the banned individuals when it knows the individual is participating in the effort.”

This is already happening.

Journalist Nick Monroe has been covering the fallout, noting that many fan pages or related pages for those affected by the ban have also been removed.

The fallout from these bans have affected some more than others.

Monroe linked to a tweet from Jon Levine, the media editor at The Wrap, who noted that Laura Loomer seems to have expressed suicidal thoughts to him in light of being digitally silenced by major social media organizations.

The tweet leads to an article on The Wrap with the quote from Loomer, who wrote…

“What’s the point of life anymore? I live in a digital gulag. Yesterday I wrote an article about how I was living in a digital gulag on Holocaust Remembrance Day. And today, even though I am a Zionist and have dedicated my life to combatting Jew hatred, these in Silicon Valley banned me during Yom Hashoah with vile Jew haters like Louis Farrakhan and Paul Nehlen. It’s disgusting. But I don’t expect anything less from these people who want me dead. They want to kill me, but I’d rather kill myself than to let them take the victory lap.”

The really jarring part of it all is that this stands in direct opposition to Facebook’s previous stance that they took last year in July of 2018 when they said they wouldn’t ban pages for simply sharing “conspiracy theories” or “false news”.

There are others who have suggested to move to other social media platforms after being divested from the major ones, with blogger and author Mike Partyka attempting to rally people to Gab in the face of Facebook’s crackdown on speech.

Basically big tech can make it so that you effectively have no voice in the digital age. If you’re a journalist they can censor you so that no one knows about the news you cover. If you’re a pundit they can suppress your speech so that no one knows what you have to say. And if you’re a political dissident, they can censor you so that you’re practically dead to anyone who lives life through digital media.

In this case, Facebook is making it known that they are doing all they can to stifle independent voices with large followings outside of mainstream as a way to send a message that no one’s speech is safe if they step out of adherence to the sociopolitical ideology that now governs the world through the unchecked policy of technocrats.

(Thanks for the news tip Nikos)

Other Industry News