Individuals from all corners of the political spectrum have been rilled up by the recent bannings of various figures from social media platforms including Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan. Some have praised these bans for providing good restrictions on what they deem “fake news” or “hate speech”. Others have attacked these bans for being influenced by nefarious motives that are contra free speech. The debate regarding the extent to which social media sites may regulate speech has been going on for years now. Perhaps it is time for a reassessment.
In the wake of New Zealand’s mosque shooting, hearts are broken and people are angry. 49 people were murdered in the name of a vicious and poisonous ideology; we are right to be angry. But what the media seems to be running with is the memes the primary shooter shouted and the memes he engraved on his weapon. “Meme Culture” as the internet has dubbed it, has been associated with the right since its start as a sort of comedic underground. This fascination with memes is a modern mirroring of punk culture, which attracted neo-nazis in the 1970s-1990s. It is another example of “Comradery of the Accused”.