They Cannot Take a Joke

When is Satire Truer than “the Truth”?

One of my favorite satire sites,  was just suspended by Twitter and Facebook.

Well, it looks like I am in good company, as I was banned by Facebook too!  Here is my article on being banned:

Let’s keep laughing so we don’t have to cry!

—— Original Message ——
Received: 07:06 PM EDT, 10/28/2020
From: “Babylon Bee”
Subject: Twitter Suspends Conservative Satire Site

It’s been quite a week.

You may have heard that Facebook penalized the Babylon Bee a few days ago by demonetizing our page for violating their community standards. We submitted an appeal immediately, but after a manual review, Facebook said they stood by their decision. I’m not kidding. They said this article “incites violence.

Take a minute and read the article. The joke is derived from a frequently quoted scene by British comedy troupe Monty Python. It’s hard to believe this really happened. They actually penalized us for rehashing an old Monty Python joke about burning a witch at the stake — and they stood by the penalty after manually reviewing it!

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? Incredibly, they asked us to edit the article and not speak publicly about this matter.

Oops. Too late.

The issue here isn’t that we’ve actually violated Facebook’s community standards. It’s that Facebook is reaching — stretching as hard as they can — to treat us as if we’ve violated them. Why?

A few days later, after the media put a spotlight on their handling of the matter, Facebook reached out to us to apologize for having made a “mistake.” They’ve lifted the restrictions on our account and restored the article they previously deleted. But questions remain. Why did it have to take getting the media involved to fix this? And why did it happen in the first place? This was not just an algorithm flagging an article in error. A manual review took place, and the ruling to penalize us was upheld.

We don’t have answers to those questions. 

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