Facebook has deleted the account of biology professor Bret Weinstein without explanation, apparently expanding its crackdown on politically incorrect thought to include leftists who defend speech rights and criticize Big Tech.
Weinstein, who rose to national prominence when he opposed a 2017 event at Washington’s Evergreen State College banning white people from campus for one day, said Thursday on Twitter that he had been “evicted” from Facebook. “No explanation, no appeal.”
I have been evicted from Facebook. No explanation. No appeal. I have downloaded “my information” and see nothing that explains it. We are governed now in private, by entities that make their own rules and are answerable to no process. Disaster is inevitable. We are living it. pic.twitter.com/JBTFH2devl
— Bret Weinstein (@BretWeinstein) October 22, 2020
Weinstein’s tweet included a screenshot of a Facebook notice indicating that his account hadn’t followed “community standards” and therefore had been disabled. The notice said the decision had already been reviewed and wouldn’t be reversed.
“We are governed now in private, by entities that make their own rules and are answerable to no process,” the professor and podcaster added. “Disaster is inevitable. We are living in it.”
Weinstein is a full-fledged progressive, having supported self-described Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders for president. He also participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2009. But he’s also a classical liberal and participant in the so-called ‘Intellectual Dark Web’, where commentators speak out against cancel culture and defend free-speech rights.
The biologist appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in June, warning about the consequences of woke authoritarianism spreading from college campuses into the real world. As if that wasn’t controversial enough, he spoke out against YouTube’s demonetization of conservative commentator Steven Crowder in 2019.
Responding to Weinstein’s banishment from Facebook, Dave Rubin, another liberal who has faced backlash for his positions on free speech and libertarianism, said social-media censorship was inevitably going to spread from the political right to left. “They weren’t going to stop with Alex Jones,” Rubin tweeted.
They weren’t gonna stop with Alex Jones…
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) October 22, 2020
Another Twitter commenter said, “We tried to warn liberals, when they tested this out on easy fringe targets like Milo (Yiannopoulos) or Alex Jones, that they were just the first but by no means the last. Can’t say conservatives did not warn them.”
We tried to warn liberals when they tested this out on easy fringe targets like Milo or Alex Jones that they were just the first but by no means the least. Can’t say Conservatives did not warn them……🤔 pic.twitter.com/xMnW9LQfOO
— The Rum Pirate (@bdawg6500) October 22, 2020
Columnist Amy Alkon said that by terminating Weinstein’s account without explanation, Facebook leaves no way to “assess whether you indeed violated some standard or whether somebody there high up enough to ax you just wanted you gone.” Writer Terry Wayne Carpenter Jr. added that “in the attention economy, social-media companies are de facto First Amendment enforcers.”
The era of “corporate rule” has been creeping up on us for a while now.In the attention economy, social media platforms are de facto first amendment enforcers. And ‘inalienable human rights’ is not what determines what is and is not enforced. THAT, would be stock price.
— Terry Wayne Carpenter, Jr. (@TJCarpenterShow) October 22, 2020
Big Tech has notoriously put its thumb on the scale for Democrat interests, as evidenced in the past week when Facebook and Twitter tried to squelch the New York Post’s scoops on alleged influence-peddling by Joe Biden’s family. But other voices that oppose more mainstream liberal and neocon dogmas have increasingly been quieted. For instance, Google has slashed search traffic to anti-war and socialist websites, while Twitter has suspended anti-war and Occupy-linked accounts.