As social media censorship has drawn increased scrutiny among congressional Republicans, Facebook has demonetized the satirical Christian website The Babylon Bee over a piece about Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono.
The satirical piece, titled, “Senator Hirono Demands ACB Be Weighed Against A Duck To See If She Is A Witch,” was published the day after the Hawaii senator asked Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, whether she had ever committed or been accused of sexual assault or harassment, and scolded her for using the term “sexual preference,” even though the world was also used by Democrats.
The satirical piece said: “After two days of Amy Coney Barrett gracefully and stoically answering questions with perfect recall and no notes, suspicions grew on Capitol Hill that she might be a practitioner of the dark arts.”
The piece also featured many fictitious quotes from Hirono.
“Oh, she’s a witch alright, just look at her! Just look at the way she’s dressed and how she’s so much prettier and smarter than us! She’s in league with Beelzebub himself, I just know it! We must burn her!” Hirono was sarcastically quoted as saying.
The article went on to detail how Hirono “pulled a live duck out of a massive burlap sack next to her” and declared: “In addition to being a senator, I am also quite wise in the ways of science. Everyone knows witches burn because they are made of wood. I think I read that somewhere. Wood floats and so do ducks—so logically, if Amy Coney Barrett weighs as much as this duck I found in the reflection pool outside, she is a witch and must be burned.”
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon addressed the demonetization on Twitter Tuesday, saying Facebook claimed that the article “incites violence.”
“It’s literally a regurgitated joke from a Monty Python movie!” he stressed.
“In what universe does a fictional quote as part of an obvious joke constitute a genuine incitement to violence? How does context not come into play here?” he asked. “They’re asking us to edit the article and not speak publicly about internal content reviews.”
In what universe does a fictional quote as part of an obvious joke constitute a genuine incitement to violence? How does context not come into play here? They're asking us to edit the article and not speak publicly about internal content reviews. Oops, did I just tweet this?— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) October 20, 2020
Dillon proceeded to accuse Facebook of a double standard, citing the fact that the social media giant did not label a Black Lives Matter leader’s promise to “burn down the system” if the organization’s demands were not met as an attempt to incite violence.
He vowed that The Babylon Bee “will not be editing the article to get our page’s monetization reinstated.”
In a subsequent tweet, Dillon declared “We don’t even need Facebook. They only account for like 70 percent of our traffic.”
We will not be editing the article to get our page's monetization reinstated. We will, however, be talking to the media about this. Send your inquiries my way: email@example.com— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) October 20, 2020
The demonetization of The Babylon Bee comes as Facebook and Twitter face harsh criticism from Republicans for their efforts to censor New York Post stories featuring emails from Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, which raise the appearance that he used his father’s position as vice president for personal financial gain for himself and the Biden family. The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced plans to vote on subpoenaing the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter on Thursday.
As supporters of President Donald Trump, including White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, began to share the New York Post's investigative reports on social media, they found themselves locked out of their private accounts. In addition, mainstream media journalists who shared the New York Post's reports were locked out of their accounts too.
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed a desire to “know what the hell is going on” and stressed the need for Silicon Valley officials to “come before this committee and the American people to explain why Twitter is abusing their corporate power to silence the press and cover-up allegations of corruption.”
Despite attempts by leaders of major social media companies to assure the American public that they remain neutral on political content, it is a well-established fact that Silicon Valley overwhelmingly supports the Democratic Party and progressive political causes.
The New York Post reported earlier this month that “employees at the six largest Silicon Valley tech firms have donated nearly $5 million to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden while dishing out a paltry $239,000 to President Trump.”