Facebook appears to be on a rampant censorship spree. Shortly after banning Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, and Louis Farrakhan for expressing “dangerous” ideas, they completely nuked the 251,000 strong media page for Bounding Into Comics.
The website published an article about their page being shut down on May 7th, 2019, explaining that the page was actually shut down on May 6th, 2019, shortly after they published an article about the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Bounding Into Comics owner John F. Trent stated in the article…
“Facebook did not provide any warnings and didn’t really explain why the page was removed.”
He posts up several images containing warning messages from Facebook claiming that they removed content from Bounding Into Comics’ page that violated the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. The Rights and Responsibilities page basically just lists all the content you can’t post on Facebook, with plenty of nebulous wiggle-room terms such as “hate speech”, “nudity”, and “spam”, among a few more defined terms and regulations.
The warnings did not explain what content was removed from the Bounding Into Comics page or what specifically from the Rights and Responsibilities page it violated.
Hence, the actual offense is never listed, only that Facebook removed multiple posts for content that they claimed “infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law”. After these messages popped up multiple times, the Facebook page was then nuked.
There’s still an archive of the Facebook page from back in April of 2019, confirming that they had 251,990 followers at the time.
Originally Trent thought that the deletion of the page was inadvertent, but when he reached out to Facebook’s help center to discuss the matter, they refused to talk to him once he identified the page that had been affected, writing…
“Facebook did not provide us with any actual concrete examples of the alleged violation. In fact, the reason why we are writing this article today, instead of yesterday, is because we attempted to reach out to Facebook believing the removal of the page was inadvertent. However, Facebook has not responded to any of our Help Center inquiries. They stopped responding in an email thread with a Publisher & Media Support team representative once the page was identified.”
Trent surmises that it was likely their pro-consumer and anti-SJW sentiments that landed them in hot water with Facebook. That wouldn’t be surprising at all given that Facebook has targeted similar groups in the past, with Free Thought Project being banned, along with Rachel Blevins from RT.com, and Press For Truth.
It also wouldn’t be surprising if certain Social Justice Warrior groups targeted Bounding Into Comics’ page with a mass report campaign. Keep in mind that the site has been the target of negative impressions from the #KickVic people, the pro-censorship crowd, and those who are anti-#ComicsGate. So technically it could have been any of those groups who brought the page down.
Last year there was a concerted effort to badmouth and drag the site through the mud when #ComicsGate was dominating discussion across social media. One of the more notable moments came from July, 2018 where ImageComics’ Michelle Perez attempted to advocate for comic book publishers to stop interacting with Bounding Into Comics.
this site exists to basically whip up right wing antagonism. thats not unique to bounding into comics. what’s disheartening is how often they try to go after individuals that aren’t chest thumping people with the #maga hashtag in their twitter bios pic.twitter.com/jwWN6TXlzD
— michelle perez (@mperezwritesirl) July 9, 2018
people are well within their rights to boycott whatever they like! thats fine. but for the most part john f trent’s reportage on comic book personalities seems limited to weird right wing grudges of comicsgate personalities
— michelle perez (@mperezwritesirl) July 9, 2018
The site was also featured in a piece on Vulture.com that was published back in August of 2018, where they wrote that ignoring ComicsGaters “isn’t doing the trick”…
“A Comicsgate news-hub called Bounding Into Comics emerged, where progressive creators and critics are regularly accused of harassing or silencing conservatives. For those who followed Gamergate, the defensive positions are all too familiar: whenever someone says something extreme or incites targeted harassment, other reactionaries will either say it was all a joke or that that person doesn’t represent the larger movement. It’s nearly impossible to win an argument with the Comicsgaters, but ignoring them (something I’m ashamed to admit I thought would work) isn’t doing the trick, either.”
The article suggests that debating and condemning #ComicsGate wasn’t enough and that more needed to be done.
Vulture doesn’t explicitly call for de-platforming, but that seems to be what can be inferred from the tone. The fact that we’re literally seeing pundits, outlets, and everyday people getting de-platformed for merely speaking out against regressive propaganda, it’s hard to rule it out of the equation.
However, the alternative is that Facebook could have bots going through and shutting down pages that are deemed “problematic” by curators. Google has a blacklist of websites that it shadow bans and purposefully suppresses on the general index, while Twitter has been shadow banning people for years, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Facebook is using it’s own curated list to cull from the herd.
All three of the major tech giants have also been advocating for more censorship and de-platforming since the Christchurch, New Zealand shooting. So technically this could be in result of that vow of censorship that big tech has been lobbying for heavily since March.
The sad reality is that we don’t actually know what caused Bounding Into Comics’ page to get nuked and Facebook hasn’t been willing to talk about it. On the upside, they still have a Facebook group, but it’s obviously not the main page for the site. They also have a Discord channel you can join, along with a page on the social media site MeWe.
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if more of your favorite anti-SJW and non-Leftists personalities and websites get shut down next. President Donald Trump did say that they were monitoring the situation regarding Americans being censored by big tech. We’ll see if something finally comes of it and maybe an internet Bill of Rights can be put into place to prevent people from being unceremoniously censored for not toeing the ideological line or completely losing their livelihood because the technocrats believe their ideas are… “dangerous”.
(Thanks for the news tip Animatic, Indie Comics Showcase and Blaugast)