First they came for Alex Jones, now it’s Michael Savage.
Thought police at Twitter have reportedly shadow banned the acclaimed conservative radio host and best-selling author after Savage weighed in on the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last week.
While the mainstream media avoided the words “terrorist attack,” Savage pointed out that “in 2016 radical Islamist were caught in front of the cathedral with gas canisters in their car.
Those terrorists were “arrested and sentenced just last week,” Savage posted on April 15.
Shortly after, Savage realized Twitter drastically reduced his visibility to followers without any explanation for the move.
“In the case of Michael Savage, it became apparent Sunday after being temporarily blocked last week following the burning of Notre Dame, that now he may join the rebels in the shadows,” MichaelSavage.com contributor Amanda Metzger wrote in a column for Newsmax published Tuesday.
“Some followers who used to receive notifications of his tweets on their smartphones no longer received them,” she wrote. “He suddenly found his Periscope live broadcast was limited in the number of viewers.”
Periscope is owned by Twitter.
Savage is only the latest conservative to experience censorship on Twitter for exercising his First Amendment rights. InfoWars’ Alex Jones was permanently banned from the platform altogether last September, while countless others have complained about the shadow banning.
Other forms of censorship against conservatives are playing out on YouTube, Facebook, and Google, as well.
how can the— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) April 16, 2019
investigation' of possible arson or terror be 'over' when the ashes are still smoldering! LIES, COVER-UP. USE COMMON SENSE. THIS WAS TERRORISM
Savage explained the situation in more detail for Newsmax.
“Shadow banning on Twitter is tricky practice in which a user’s content suddenly disappears from news feeds and becomes less prominent, even in the feeds of their most dedicated followers,” Metzger wrote. “It’s stealth. The user isn’t notified that the algorithm views them differently. Without placement in the newsfeed, someone would have to seek out your Twitter page to find you instead of stumble across your tweet while mindlessly scrolling through their feed.”
Twitter denies the conservative censorship despite repeated demonstrated evidence, as do officials at the other sites. Regardless, the effect raises critical questions about the folks behind the curtain determining who deserves to be heard and who doesn’t.
“Who is in the shadows deciding who is heard and who is silenced? Someone in a dark room behind a bright screen in a foreign country with no First Amendment?” Metzger questioned. “Or maybe it’s an American trying to create a safe space online.
“I can’t think of anything less safe – anything more damaging – than limiting the exchange of ideas,” she wrote. “We’re in a dangerous place when we’ve forgotten the phrase, ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’”
Unless something changes, Metzger expects the total “deplatforming” that targeted Jones – which included the removal of his material from all social media sites, from Facebook to YouTube – to become more common.
“We are getting closer to the point where federal regulation of social media is inevitable. The airwaves are regulated. In this case, my plea is that there is some transparency in who is banned, blocked or deplatformed and why,” she wrote. “I would prefer no one find themselves silenced by another.”
“Maybe you don’t care who was deplatformed last year. You didn’t agree with them anyway and seeing their tweets and posts ruined your day,” Metzger concluded. “But if you don’t stand up for them now, they won’t have a voice to come to your defense when you are silenced.”