The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has urged citizens to defend free speech in the West after big tech firms allegedly coordinated to remove right wing voices, including InfoWars and Tommy Robinson, from social media.
On Monday, Apple, Facebook, Pinterest, Spotify, and Google-owned YouTube permanently removed content from InfoWars and its owner Alex Jones, saying he and the website violated their policies against hate speech and harassment.
Proponents of the ban say Mr Jones is a conspiracy theorist who deserves to be silenced, while critics have claimed the purge is an attempt to interfere in the U.S. midterm elections and described it as a form of “political censorship”.
Infowars says it has been banned by Facebook for unspecified 'hate speech'. Regardless of the facts in this case, the ability of Facebook to censor rivial publishers is a global anti-trust problem, which along with San Francisco cultural imperialism, reduces political diversity. https://t.co/xb5oY2JHzy
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 6, 2018
Then on Tuesday activist Tommy Robinson was expunged from the Facebook-owned Instagram platform. He has already been banned from Twitter but still has an un-verified Facebook page with approaching a million followers, which he fears will be next.
In a statement, UKIP said: “These are private companies but the politically correct establishment is acting through corporations hand in glove to snuff out anything the globalist elite do not like.
“Free speech is under threat in the West, and we must stand firm in defence of it, otherwise, all dissenting voices will be muzzled.”
UKIP itself, which has won the last European Parliament election in Britain and remains the nation’s most significant party in that assembly, has also been the target of censorship by big tech firms.
The party’s leader and Gerard Batten MEP and one of its elected members of the London Assembly were “shadow banned” on Twitter last month, making it hard for most users to see their messages and severely restricting their reach on the platform.
Social Media Purge Continues as Tommy Robinson Removed from Instagram, Fears Facebook Next https://t.co/UXngV4AeYq
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 7, 2018
On the latest wave of censorship, UKIP Leader Gerard Batten commented: “Whatever you think of Alex Jones’ InfoWars, YouTube closing it down is part of a programme to shut down alternative media.
“Yesterday on the BBC it was said, ‘he hasn’t broken the law he has broken their [YouTube’s] laws’. Only the criminal law or the laws of libel should apply.”
On Tuesday morning, the BBC News channel’s Victoria Derbyshire show hosted a discussion featuring representatives from Democrats Abroad and English Pen, with all present seemingly in agreement that the bans were a good thing.
No-one on the “impartial” publicly-funded broadcaster’s show defended InfoWars’ right to speak on social media.