The Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is banned from Facebook. He’s done. Finished. And if we’re going by the rules of these social media empires, it was about time. The man has shared more than his fair share of bigoted views. He recently said that Jewish people were termites. Twitter did not suspend him, but you tweet “learn to code” to liberals—you could get yourself banned by the social media company, another example of there being two rules between liberal and conservative users. That’s a tale for another time. Farrakhan wasn’t the only one, Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos are also banned (via NBC News):
Facebook announced Thursday that it plans to ban a group of far-right media personalities, as well as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, from its social network and Instagram.
The ban affects Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos, and other far-right figures and the conspiracy and far-right politics website Infowars.
The social media giant previously removed four pages belonging to Jones in August 2018 due to violations of the platform’s community standards.
Despite his initial ban on Facebook, Jones had remained active on Instagram where his account recently pushed a conspiracy theory about former Vice President Joe Biden. It was one of the most-engaged posts across both social networks in the past few days, according to social media analytics tool Crowdtangle
“We've always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.
The Atlantic has also labeled Louis Farrakhan as "far-right"— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 2, 2019
This isn’t the first time the media has “mistakenly” gone to bat for Democrats in deep water by labeling them as Republicans...— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 2, 2019
Here’s CNN labeling Ralph Northam as a an “R” during his apology video for wearing blackface. pic.twitter.com/zTGHqG17JE
The Women's March should have tried this trick. https://t.co/EW7xm3jjPG— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) May 2, 2019
Okay—that’s their decision. These are private companies. I don’t like de-platforming people, even if their views are nutty or straight trash, but there’s nothing we can do about it, though we can debate whether these tech companies are getting big enough where they can squeeze out free speech. It's an ongoing debate.
I’m more concerned with how The Washington Post described this move, labeling Farrakhan as a far-right leader. The Atlantic also described Farrakhan as a member of the far right. And this isn’t the first time the media has mislabeled politicians. Case in point, when Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam admitted to doing blackface in college, CNN said he was a Republican. Farrakhan has palled around and taken photos with prominent Democratic politicians, like former President Barack Obama. So, only one could guess why these publications decided to provide a smokescreen, right? Oh, what a mystery this is.