On March 21, the Babylon Bee tweeted out a “joke” about Dr. Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary of Well being on the Division of Well being and Human Companies, being the location’s decide for “Man of the 12 months.” The Bee payments itself because the conservative model of The Onion, and the “joke” was that Dr. Levine, who’s transgender, had been named one in every of twelve “Girls of the 12 months” by USA Right this moment.
Twitter locked the account for violating the location’s hateful conduct coverage and won’t restore it till twelve hours after the tweet has been deleted, depriving customers of such har-har-hilarious posts as “Are You A Groomer? 9 Issues To Look For,” “Oh No! Noah Unintentionally Fills Ark With Solely Male Animals As a result of He’s Not A Biologist,” “Thrilling! Examine Out These 9 Trans-Pleasant Youngsters’ Reveals Coming To Disney.”
The Bee’s CEO Seth Dillon stays defiant, tweeting, “We’re not deleting something. Fact shouldn’t be hate speech. If the price of telling the reality is the lack of our Twitter account, then so be it.”
However the place Dillon claims to be telling the “fact” when he misgenders a public official, Senator Roger Wicker defends the Bee as “a satirical web site” which “deliberately makes use of satire to attract consideration to public figures, information tales, popular culture, and different problems with the day.” The Kansas Republican took to Twitter — after all! — to accuse the corporate of “stifl[ing] a variety of viewpoints and free discourse on the web.”
Really Large Tech firms can proceed to “make use of their very own judgements on their platform members” as a result of that’s how the First Modification goes, as Roger Wicker, College of Mississippi Faculty of Legislation (’75) is aware of completely nicely. We don’t have compelled speech on this nation, and no website is obligated to host any content material in any respect. And that might nonetheless be the case if Wicker received his means and his “reform” to Part 230 of the Communications Decency Act received handed.
So customers will simply must click on on over to the Bee’s website to learn cool tales like “Zookeepers Scramble To Vaccinate All Lizards After Listening to Pelosi Received COVID” or “China Introduces New Head Of COVID Coverage Dr. Anthon-Yong Fauching.”
Large loss there.
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore the place she writes about legislation and politics.