JUPITER, FL – The Babylon Bee, a popular conservative Christian news satire website – often referred to as the “evangelical version of The Onion” – has been banned by several prominent social media platforms in recent months, with the owners of the site claiming they have been given no explanation for the perceived punitive actions against them.
The Babylon Bee was created by Adam Ford and was launched in March of 2016; in late 2018 Ford sold the website to Seth Dillon, who has headed it up ever since. The site features the tone and format of a traditional news publication, but the content of its articles actually serves to parody a number of left-leaning topics, individuals, and groups, such as progressives and Democrats; however, the site also parodies conservatives and Republicans as well.
The purpose of the site, according to Ford, was not just to poke fun at politics and ideologies, but to encourage readers to reflect upon themselves and the world around them.
“It’s important to look at what we’re doing, to examine ourselves,” he said when the site originally launched. “Satire acts like an overhead projector, taking something that people usually ignore and projecting it up on the wall for everyone to see. It forces us to look at things we wouldn’t normally look at and makes us ask if we’re okay with them.”
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But in March of this year, The Babylon Bee’s Twitter account was banned for 12 hours after it had mockingly awarded U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine – who is transgender – the title “Man of the Year,” an apparent dig at USA Today naming Levine one of its “women of year” the week before.
Upon learning of the ban, Dillon tweeted, “I just received the notice that we’ve been locked out of our account for ‘hateful conduct.’” He would later go on to explain in follow-ups that the account would be locked for 12 hours, but that the countdown to the ban ending would only begin if the offending tweet was deleted, which he refused to do.
However, Twitter’s punishment only served to make The Babylon Bee’s tweet go viral, as well as garnering the site significant media coverage. However, Dillon remained true to his word, as the Levine tweet remains and the account, as a result, is still unable to post any new content. Instead, Dillon has encouraged fans to pay for premium subscriptions to The Babylon Bee in order to help support the site.
Dillon later confirmed that Twitter had denied The Babylon Bee’s appeal attempt.
Following the Twitter debacle, The Babylon Bee later found itself in hot water once again in early July when the video-sharing platform TikTok banned their account, this time without any explanation whatsoever, according to Dillon.
“Yes, we have been banned. No, they did not tell us why. And there is no option to appeal,” he said in an interview with the Washington Times.
Upon the banning by the Chinese-owned social media company, The Babylon Bee’s social media manager shared a screenshot from a TikTok user indicating that the account was indeed banned, and noted that they had been given no option at all to appeal or reverse the decision.
“The Babylon Bee got banned on TikTok without being given a reason and with no option to appeal. Welcome to big tech in 2022,” they tweeted.
Dillon noted that TikTok officials had refused to drop the ban, reportedly telling him that “Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision.”
And finally, Dillon announced in an email newsletter sent out to subscribers on August 24, that Front, the company that manages all inbound and outbound email for The Babylon Bee, had informed him that they were terminated their account, effective immediately. Again, no explanation was given, but Dillon said that he had a “good guess” as to why.
“It probably comes as no surprise that Front is run by a group of woke, left-wing tech elitists,” said in the newsletter. “Just like Twitter, Facebook, The New York Times, Snopes, and the many other companies that have attacked us, they simply can’t abide satire that dares to mock their left-wing orthodoxy.”
In response to the initial Twitter ban – and presumably, this attitude would apply to his company’s TikTok and email bans as well – Dillon was defiant, and said that losing his social media accounts was the consequence for “telling the truth,” he was willing to accept it.
“We’re not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it,” he said in March. “Never censor yourself. Insist that 2 and 2 make 4 even if Twitter tries to compel you to say otherwise. Make them ban tens of millions of us.”
While speaking with Alex Marlow, Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief, in Tampa, Florida last year, Dillan said, when you face these “malicious, baseless, ridiculous attacks” you should be encouraged because that means you’re “striking a nerve” and ”your doing something right.”