The Golden age of social media freedom, debate and exchange of ideas ended in 2018 when the first major casualties of social media deplaforming occurred.
Alex Jones and his Infowars news site were the first targets of a co-ordinated social media deplatforming. In August 2018 Facebook, YouTube, iTunes and Spotify removed all accounts and content associated with Alex Jones, Twitter shortly followed. Later in the year Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys were banned from Facebook and Twitter.
In early 2019 both before and after the Christchurch massacre on March 15 another purge conservative and nationalist personalities occurred on mainstream social media. British values and anti-Islam campaigner Tommy Robinson was banned from Facebook and Instagram in February, his YouTube channel became unsearchable in April.
That same month Tommy began the first mass migration to a free speech social media platform by opening up a broadcast channel on the Telegram messaging app.
Facebook post-Christchurch banned all pages, groups and accounts associated with Australian white nationalist group the Lads Society, patriot activist Neil Erikson, along with another Facebook page created by Avi Yemini in May they engaged in another right-wing purge banning Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and Laura Loomer.
YouTube introduced an update to its terms of service in June 2019 triggered a purge of conservative and nationalist channels which included Australian based patriots Shermon Burgess and Australian Meditations.
This coupled with the Facebook and Twitter bans on Blair Cottrell, Neil Erikson and the Lads Society saw a mass migration of Australian patriot activists and commentators to Gab.com founded and operated on a user subscription model by American Andrew Torba.
Another YouTube terms of service update occurred in December 2019 which eventually claimed the YouTube account of the host of America First livestream show and de facto leader of the Gropyer Army Nicholas J. Fenutes. He and other America First personalities now livestream their shows on dlive.tv.
Twitter’s Suspensions and Selective Fact Checking
Twitter launched its total declaration of war on conservatives on May 27 when it decided to selectively fact-check a tweet from President Trump on his concern about the possibility of electoral fraud from the Democrat Party push for mail-in ballots in the November elections.
Trump had threatened in the past to take away from social media companies legal immunity from the content posted on their platforms under section 230(c) Communications Decency Act if they continued editorialising their content.
After mail-in ballots fact check on his tweet, he issued Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship which attempted to direct federal regulatory agencies to no longer interpret section 230(c) to apply to social media companies.
As the George Floyd protests turned into full-blown rioting, looting and senseless violence and assault Twitter appeared undeterred by Trump’s executive order and prevented replies to his tweet that he was ready to deploy the US military.
Twitter said it violated their rules about glorifying violence though it had decided to allow the tweet to remain visible albeit with warning as they deemed it to be “in the public interest”.
If Twitter was prepared to censor the account of the President of the United States then no user was off-limits. Republican Congressman from Florida’s 1st district Matt Gaetz had his tweet demanding Antifa terrorists be hunted down like those in the Middle East restricted for “glorifying violence”.
American First commentator and advocate Michelle Malkin had her Twitter account temporarily suspended for stating she believed violent criminal looters should be shot.
The fact that Twitter was not shutting down Twitter accounts of Antifa activists glorifying and excusing the rioting, looting and violence and Black Lives Matter accounts calling for violence against white people the double standard and clear political bias of Twitter and its CEO Jack Dorsey.
But Twitter in a clear indication they do not care about their conservative users, nor the perception of bias decided to double down, especially on President Trump’s tweets. In a recent video he tweeted about how the same vision can be shown from another angle to push fake news, Twitter claimed it was Trump pushing fake news labelling the video manipulated media.
But the catalyst for the mass conservative exodes of Twitter to finally happen has been British conservative cultural commentator Katie Hopkins’ Twitter account being permanently suspended on Friday 19th of June for a Twitter reply in which she hoped a man who was sexually threatening her was “hung like a baboon” a reference to the classic British period comedy “Blackadder” starring Rowan Atkinson in the 1980s.
Parler Sign Up Surge
Katie Hopkins subsequently opened an account on free speech social media platform Parler. Despite Parler being founded and in operation since August 2018 by CEO John Matze Jr its name recognition and a surge in users and traffic has only just taken off.
Because its user interface is similar to Twitter and at the time of publication is still available of the Apple and Google Play app stores has allowed new users to quickly learn how to use the platform and easily access their accounts and receive alerts from their favourite users.
Already deplatformed conservatives and nationalists have quickly gained a mass following on Parler including Tommy. Robinson, Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer. Loomer who is currently running for US Congress in Flordia’s 21st district has already amassed 500k followers.
John Matze told Breitbart News Sunday that Parler has “seen an influx of probably almost a million users in week and a half to two weeks” noticing that many conservatives “are using their Twitter handles and Twitter accounts to drive people to Parler because of their frustration with the censorship on that platform.”
YouTube’s Latest Channel Terminations
After two YouTube conservative and nationalist purges in 2019 YouTube has undertaken another purge of such channels this past week. It started with Gavin McInnes’ YouTube channel a week ago.
In the past 24 hours YouTube channels associated with Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance have been terminated for “hate speech”.
Facebook’s Advertising Crisis
Facebook’s power has been built not simply from its userbase but from business advertising which has become concentrated on the site at the expense of traditional advertising media.
But with almost all big corporations now having woke social justice policies, despite Facebook already deplatforming thousands of conservative and nationalities personalities, activists and media outlets, these corporations believe Facebook has still failed to sufficiently police hate speech and disinformation on their platform.
As a result these corporations have pulled their advertising from Facebook wiping $7.2 billion from its stock value or 8.3% of its total value. These corporations have engaged the services of the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP to launch the “Stop Hate for Profit” giving Facebook one month to cede to their demands.
There was a time where many believe the social media giants were too big to fail or a mass exodus from the platforms could not occur. That their power and influence would continue to grow and surpass that of national governments. But the exodos and hit to the big social media companies bottom line is well and truly in motion and is only just beginning