Will Facebook’s War Against Conservatives Crush The Babylon Bee?
There’s nothing funny about Big Tech’s beef with The Babylon Bee.
The satirical news site, a right-leaning response to The Onion, delivers cutting-edge comedy not heard on late night TV or “Saturday Night Live.”
Consider these recent faux headlines:
- BLM Founder Reminds Everyone Justice Won’t Fully Be Served Until She Can Buy A 5th House
- Dems Demand Statehood For Epstein’s Private Island
It’s edgier, and funnier, than most modern satire because the Bee avoids the expected comedy subjects. Namely, anyone with an “R” affixed to his or her name.
That’s likely why Facebook originally went to war with the site, and how that battle could spell doom for a rare bastion of conservative comedy.
Facebook repeatedly accuses the Bee of spreading Fake News, ignoring the site’s obviously satirical nature. The Onion’s liberal comedy avoids most, if not all, such fact checks.
The Bee is held to a different standard, and the pattern couldn’t be more obvious.
“Satire doesn’t have the intent of misleading people. … It’s communicating truth through satire,” Seth Dillon, CEO of the Babylon Bee, told this reporter earlier in the year.
That hasn’t stopped Facebook from repeatedly demonetizing the site’s posts.
Last October, Facebook snapped into action over an article riffing on a classic Monty Python sketch.
“Senator Hirono Demands ACB Be Weighed Against A Duck To See If She Is A Witch,” read the headline, referring to the ghastly attacks on future Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
That silly story, according to Facebook, incited violence.
That’s actually funny, but not to Dillon’s team. The satire site depends on Facebook to help share its stories and as an additional revenue stream.
The social media network eventually softened its position, as it often does when the company’s absurd reactions get press attention.
Now, Facebook is at it again.
The Bee’s editor in chief, Kyle Mann, shared on Twitter over the weekend how the platform cited the Bee for “coordinating harm and promoting crime.”
What did The Bee write that drew such a punishment?
The article in question poked fun at those rioting in the name of social justice.
Here’s two snippets from the feature:
- HAVE A BUDDY. Those new 4K TVs are freaking heavy man.
- STAY SAFE — But also throw bricks at police.
How in a sane society could that kind of comedy be dubbed “promoting crime.” It’s literally the opposite, unless you’re a Big Tech platform eager to defend groups like Black Lives Matter from criticism.
It’s no accident that Facebook also allegedly prevented users from sharing stories from the New York Post and the Daily Mail about a BLM leader, an avowed Marxist, buying up four homes.
The Bee attempted to contact Facebook about the rioting satire.
“We appealed the decision but were told it was unlikely we’d receive a response,” Mann Tweeted. The matter soon got worse.
“Since we requested the review, Facebook has INCREASED our level of restriction, moving us from a warning to RESTRICTED MONETIZATION,” Mann said in a follow-up Tweet.
It’s worth noting that Facebook isn’t routinely against political violence. Newsbusters shared one of many examples of Mark Zuckerberg’s creation refusing to defang a group with overt violent ties, like Antifav.
The platform refused to take action against violent groups such as Rose City Antifa organizing alleged political violence, even after it was contacted and presented with extensive evidence of violence perpetrated by the group.
The Facebook attacks on The Bee date back to 2018. At the time, the Bee joked that CNN bought industrial sized washing machines to better spin the news.
The humor hit hard, sparking a fact check from Snopes.com. Facebook teams with that liberal site to root out Fake News, meaning it threatened to demonetize that story, too, based on Snopes’ findings.
Facebook later reversed its decision and apologized, but the template was set for future attacks.
Conservatives know how Big Tech giants routinely fact check material that doesn’t align with progressive groupthink and let liberal lies go unchallenged. That toxic treatment extends to the Bee’s stories.
And it’s not alone.
We’re already seeing other Big Tech platforms smite comedy that doesn’t fit its liberal worldview. Apolitical comic Ryan Long routinely mocks the woke crowd and suffers serial censorship as a result.
YouTube comedian JP Sears also finds his work, mocking aggressive COVID-19 lockdowns and other targets, targeted by Facebook.
The Bee has taken a multi-pronged approach to Facebook meddling. It routinely fights back, fires off appeals to Facebook moderators and talks to media outlets interested in promoting free speech.
It also uses humor to shame Facebook whenever possible.
Facebook Bans The Babylon Bee For Being Too Accurate
That’s all well and good, but if Facebook continues to unfairly attack The Bee the site’s future may be bleak.
Christian Toto is editor of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment
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