Facebook announced the banning of multiple conservative media personalities and Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan from the platform. Conservatives banned include Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones. Alex Jones, who has previously been banned, had his personal Facebook account and Instagram account barred from the sites. A Facebook spokesman who spoke to CNN said that it will remove any user, groups, or organizations who attempt to represent the banned individuals. This will essentially erase their existence from the site. Facebook cited the individuals banning being due to their “dangerous” rhetoric.
Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, stands out as the only one from those banned on the left. Mr. Farrakhan is notorious for his anti-semitic language, including a speech he gave in Chicago, calling Jews “satanic”. Farrakhan was falsely labeled as a far-right figure by multiple media outlets, including CNN, the Atlantic, and the Washington Post. CNN was the only of those three not to walk back the statements.
Commentators and Politicians Come to Their Defense
After their bannings, several cultural figures came to the defense of those banned. President Trump came to the defense of Paul Joseph Watson and Actor James Woods, who was banned from Twitter. Additionally, President Trump retweeted tweets from conservative commentators Watson and Lauren Southern on the bans. The President then proceeded to tweet once again on the issue, suggesting a relationship between the media, social media sites, and the Democrats.
On the other side of the aisle, rapper Snoop Dogg came to the defense of Louis Farrakhan. Additionally, the rapper urged fans to “show some love to a real brother”, urging the sharing of Farrakhan’s videos. He continued by challenging Facebook directly in a video on his page. Additionally, Snoop Dog said, “I stand with him. I’m with him. Ban me, motherfucker.”
Censorship of Conservative Voices or Policing of Their Site?
Multiple commentators on YouTube have made their own conclusions on the instance. Libertarian YouTuber and commentator, Actual Justice Warrior, claimed Louis Farrakhan was the “sacrificial lamb” in trying to hide Facebook’s left wing bias in a recent video. Additionally, he added that Paul Joseph Watson had not violated any of Facebook’s guidelines. Tim Pool, a YouTuber and Journalist, furthers that this is Facebook’s “establishment bias” against the right and anti-war left. Finally, Mr. Pool shared and promoted an article by the conservative website Human Events. The article itself describes the need for legislation to protect against bias on social media platforms, an increasingly popular idea among conservatives who feel censored by companies like Facebook.
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