Shut down by Twitter, Babylon Bee stands up to tyranny of Big Tech
A few days ago, Twitter locked the account of humor website The Babylon Bee for a post declaring transgender U.S. assistant secretary of health Dr. "Rachel" Levine its "Man of the Year."
This was a parody in response to USA Today naming Levine among its 2022 "Women of the Year."
Twitter cited "hateful conduct" on the part of the Bee, shutting the account down:
I just received this notice that we’ve been locked out of our account for “hateful conduct.” pic.twitter.com/udMriKcDr6— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) March 20, 2022
Twitter informed the Bee that its account would be restored on the condition that the "offensive" tweet is deleted.
The Bee has over 1.3 million followers on Twitter, which shows its considerable reach and revenue generation. The easier route would have been to delete the tweet and then complain.
We're not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) March 20, 2022
I've received some messages from people asking how they can help. I can think of a few ways:— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) March 21, 2022
1. Never censor yourself. Insist that 2 and 2 make 4 even if Twitter tries to compel you to say otherwise. Make them ban tens of millions of us.
This isn't the Bee's first clash with Big Tech.
Facebook claimed that the article was "inciting violence" and demanded that the "problematic" portions be removed for the post to be restored.
CEO Dillon, even back then, chose to stand for freedom rather than Facebook-generated revenue.
So after a manual review, Facebook says they stand by their decision to pull down this article and demonetize our page. I'm not kidding. They say this article "incites violence." It's literally a regurgitated joke from a Monty Python movie!https://t.co/U9B6tTOj6N— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) October 20, 2020
This occurred at a time when Facebook allowed content such as that generated by BLM's Hawk Newsome, who tweeted: "If this country doesn't give us what we want then we will burn down the system and replace it," and Democrat congresswoman Maxine Waters, who incited "protesters" to harass members of the Trump administration.
This goal behind the selective application of restrictions was obviously to ensure total adherence to progressive groupthink, irrespective of how ridiculous such ideas may be. Restraining hate or incitement to violence was the least of their concern.
Facebook eventually apologized, they restored the article and Bee's ability to monetize, claiming "satire can be difficult for our systems to identify."
The Bee, which by no means is a powerful media house, should be commended for consistently standing up for freedom of expression.
Most articles about the Bee call it a "right-wing" or "conservative" or "Christian" satire website. Even right-leaning Fox News refers to the Bee as "a conservative satirical site." This is probably what causes extra scrutiny from everyone, including the tech giants.
How does Babylon Bee see itself?
These are extracts from the "About Us" section on Bee's site:
The Babylon Bee is the world's best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.
We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.
If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.
The specific mention of "Christian stuff" and Fox News makes it obvious that their primary goal is laughter, and they are not ideological.
This is a drastic departure from most of the mainstream "comedy" featured on TV and on streaming platforms whose aim is to advance a political agenda and deride nonconformists.
But this isn't about taste or quality of content. Media by their definition are a carrier and not a source or recipient.
Freedom of expression emanates from freedom of thought. Every amazing invention or idea or literary work was the product of a brave new idea. A society that demands consensus ceases to grow.
This is why people living under totalitarian regimes rarely innovate. It is not for the lack of talent; it is just that the people do not want to risk their lives by expressing a different idea.
By censoring and suppressing the "wrong" ideas, Big Tech is effectively impeding growth. There is no place for such tyranny in one of the world's largest democracies.
It has to be remembered that when Big Tech launched its social media platform, it was a place for interaction, sharing of information, and frivolity.
In time, they managed to infiltrate governments, corporations, educational institutes, NGOs, the news media, and everybody that mattered to become their official communication channels. They even became a channel of income for businesses and users.
Once Big Tech established its monopoly, it assumed the roles of judge, jury, and executioner of content and users permitted on its sites.
During the 2020 presidential elections, the people running Big Tech suppressed news about Hunter Biden's corruption that implicated Joe Biden. Also, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated nearly $419 million to nonprofit organizations that infiltrated the administration and infrastructure of the 2020 elections, which were supposed to be apolitical and sacrosanct.
The tyrants hence bought the White House for Joe Biden, and now everybody is suffering.
They then removed President Trump across platforms for "inciting violence" after the Jan. 6 protests. Ideally, the powers that be in the U.S. should have compelled the tech tyrants to reinstate Trump's accounts. But instead, they were glad that an independent voice and a tough critic was suppressed.
Big Tech's outlets then became enforcers of government-driven COVID-19 vaccine mandates by censoring any content that challenged the effectiveness of vaccines.
Currently, Big Tech can even shut down communication lines of governments and corporations by locking all of their platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, etc. Hence, they can blacklist countries, corporations, and individuals. The tyrants can demonetize accounts, add disclaimers to posts, and suppress content by applying their rules selectively and operating above the local or national law.
This goes against the spirit of freedom that is one of the founding tenets of the internet.
They can even deny infrastructure such as server platforms to rivals. Amazon removed social media platform Parler, which challenged the Big Tech cartel, from its web hosting service for "violating rules."
Big Tech demonstrated that it would abuse its monopoly to shut down opponents and competitors.
The idea was implemented on a much larger scale when Big Tech led Big Corporations to de-platform a country — i.e., Russia. This is like a nuclear weapon, and if history has taught us anything, once the advanced weaponry is developed, it will be used.
In free capitalistic nations, the buyers have the power to choose and earn a living. The tech tyrants are attempting to subvert these freedoms and democracy itself by installing a quasi-Soviet-style super-regime, where blacklisting, canceling, and denying income are easy.
So how does one take on this tyranny?
All great journeys begin with small steps.
Here is an idea:
While you can retain your Big Tech accounts, you should sign up for alternative platforms such as Truth Social, Rumble, and Parler and make DuckDuckGo your search engine. Urge your relatives, friends, and colleagues to join in. You should also visit and support financially these platforms and sites such as the Babylon Bee. If you run a business, add these platforms to your channels of communication. Once people get accustomed to new outlets, abandoning Big Tech will not be so difficult. Humans are creatures of habit, and habits are often as easy to break as they are to inculcate. Just give it time.
Let's take on the tyrants while we still have the facility to do so.
Wait any longer, and it may be too late!
Image: Twitter screen shot.