For so long, Facebook was the one platform which dragged its heels when it came to removing the hate merchants and conspiracy theorists. The likes of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, were still able to use it long after Twitter had shut him out. Now, at last, Facebook is doing what it should have done all along - dealing with those who abuse its T&Cs, and throwing them out.
News came through yesterday that Alex Jones of InfoWars had been banned by the platform. Also removed were Laura Loomer, formerly of Rebel Media, Louis Farrakhan, and washed-up man-baby Milo Yiannopoulos. But the icing on the cake was the inclusion of Battersea bedroom dweller Paul Watson. And he was not a happy bunny.
The Great Man had a king-size onion ready as he sniffled “Reports are true … I have been banned by Facebook … Was given no reason. I broke none of their rules … In an authoritarian society controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, all dissent must be purged”. Bwaahhh! Snot fair! I’ve done nothing wrong!
Maybe he will write to the Times about it. Meanwhile, the wailing and gnashing of teeth continued. “The media was tipped off an hour before Facebook banned me. They're in cahoots … ‘In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act’”. Paul Watson? Telling the truth? When did that happen? I blinked and missed it.
But he still held out hope that Combover Crybaby Donald Trump would ride to his rescue. As if. “Hopefully, the Trump administration will now take the issue of social media censorship seriously … They’re now just banning people for wrong think … There’s no pretense of enforcing rules … If you challenge them, you're gone”. Sniff! Blub!
There was more. “The creepiest thing is not the bans, it's the threat that anyone else will be banned for talking about the people who were banned … That’s chilling. That's giant corporations enforcing their own Communist Chinese-style social credit system … And leftists love it”. Baloney. They might love seeing Watson feeling sorry for himself, though.
And he really was feeling sorry for himself. “I have had so many kind messages from people defending me today. The ones who didn’t defend me are notable by their absence … Like I semi understand you not leaping to the defense of actual nutcases, but to blacklist the mild mannered, introverted English dude? Strange”. Cue nanoviolins. There’s nothing mild mannered about peddling grotesque conspiracy theories.
At least Adolf von Batten was prepared to speak up for him. “Those who won’t toe the politically correct line are being gradually closed down. Those who can’t tolerate what people say eventually won’t tolerate the people either. We’ve seen it all before. It used to come from political dictatorships, now its big business controlled media”. The leader of UKIP talking about tolerance. We are through the looking glass.
The reality was that losing Facebook meant losing a lot of money. So there was no end to the weeping, wailing claim of censorship, rather than Watson and his pals breaking the rules. But he did want the world to know it was “Better that we should die on our feet rather than live on our knees”. Well, hurry up and die then. I’ve got some shopping to do.
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