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After Alex Jones, 4 far-right voices testing the limits of free speech online
Conservatives expect more social media bans in the future.
Over the past few weeks, social media platforms have begun banning what they’ve deemed to be hate speech and conspiracy theories in an effort to enforce their nebulous terms of service.
The most high-profile media figure to lose their social platforms has been conspiracy theory provocateur Alex Jones, who, in the space of just a few days, was permanently banned from Facebook, YouTube, Stitcher, and Spotify. But Jones isn’t the only media figure to be deplatformed in some way, with many other controversial fringe figures losing access to certain social media sites.
Who will be the next to be completely barred from social media? It could be one of these figures:
Cernovich bills himself as a “writer, filmmaker and journalist when I’m in the mood.” What he’s mostly known for is trolling, spewing a firehose of rape and transgender jokes—most of which he’s deleted and claimed to disavow. Unsurprisingly, he’s a frequent collaborator with Alex Jones.
He’s also enthusiastically advocated for a number of major conspiracy theories, only to later disavow them and claim he never supported them. His interests seem to move at random, with Cernovich endorsing everything from universal basic income to “white genocide” conspiracy theories.
Most recently, he claimed to be focused on “energy shifting” and “cosmic consciousness” while throwing out evidence-free allegations that prominent celebrities are pedophiles based on old tweets.
A correspondent for fringe far-right media outlet One America News Network, Posobiec doesn’t have his own YouTube channel, but has appeared on videos and podcasts with nearly every major alt-right figure.
To be clear:
Today the media were too busy cheering the censorship of one of the top talk show hosts in the country to cover a racist left-wing attack on a popular black celebrity
Let that sink in
— Jack Posobiec ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@JackPosobiec) August 7, 2018
He’s been particularly vociferous in his support of Pizzagate, going so far as to visit the Washington pizza restaurant at the center of the non-existent sex trafficking ring, only to be thrown out for trying to film a child’s birthday party.
He’s also got the Alex Jones stamp of approval, appearing on InfoWars platforms often. But he’s also a hoaxer who’s been caught faking stories a number of times and has organized some trolling rallies that have fizzled out with almost no attendance.
Like Cernovich, he’s already been banned from Medium, and was also banned from dating app Bumble—despite being married.
Activist and journalist Loomer has been involved in a couple of stunts that have gotten her banned from a range of platforms—and more.
Her claim to fame is interrupting famous figures and trying to publicly embarrass them. She was arrested after disrupting a Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Caesar” that portrayed a Trump-esque title character being stabbed to death.
She’s also disrupted book signings for James Comey and Chelsea Clinton, was thrown out of the trial of Noor Salman, the wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter; and filed assault charges against octogenarian House member Maxine Waters after Loomer had her hand swatted by a piece of paper while trying to get in a secure elevator with the California Congresswoman.
Her name is Ilhan Omar & she’s a Jihadi.
She also married her brother and used her campaign money to pay her attorney to take care of the “crisis” that ensued when people found out she married her brother so he could get a green card.
She has the same lawyer as Keith Ellison. https://t.co/BVwt55c6pF
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) August 10, 2018
Like Cernovich and Posoviec, Loomer has been banned from posting on Medium for breaking their rules against “harassment, hate speech, violence, or disinformation.” Loomer’s avowed anti-Islam stance also got her banned from both Lyft and Uber for claiming she couldn’t get a “non-Muslim” driver.
Loomer also recently had several anti-Muslim videos pulled off Facebook, as part of a 30-day ban for violating the platform’s standards. Facebook later claimed the videos were unpublished by mistake, and the videos are still up and available to be viewed.
The co-founder of Vice Media, McInness has spent the last decade moving further and further to the right, writing for a range of white nationalist websites, and most recently creating the alt-right men’s rights group Proud Boys.
McInness currently has work on a number of platforms, ranging from the mainstream conservative network CRTV to far right site Taki’s Magazine, which has been allied with Greek neo-Nazi movement Golden Dawn.
But he has one fewer platform as of a few days ago, as Twitter suspended him, the official Proud Boys account, and 13 other Proud Boys-affiliated accounts for violating its ban on hate speech.
Now Gavin McInnes Is Permanently Banned From Twitter?
This Shit Is Getting Ridiculous
— Anders Torgerson (@AndersTorgerson) August 10, 2018
McInness is one of the first mainstream figures to have their Twitter presence deleted, as the site hasn’t even banned Alex Jones—claiming he hasn’t violated their rules.
This has led to a flood of complaints that Twitter either doesn’t know what its own rules are, or selectively enforces them against conservatives.
With social media sites finally taking their own terms of service seriously and moving against figures that violate them, expect more deplatorming to take place—and more cries of censorship by those who lose their lucrative outlets.
Mike Rothschild is a writer who specializes in researching and debunking conspiracy theories and fringe beliefs. He also writes about politics, history, and breaking news.