Dying laughing: Facebook demonetizes satirical website Babylon Bee for ‘inciting violence’ with Monty Python joke

Dying laughing: Facebook demonetizes satirical website Babylon Bee for ‘inciting violence’ with Monty Python joke

The social media behemoth told Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon that it “stood by” the decision to not only remove the article but demonetize the Bee’s entire page on Tuesday, insisting the piece – headlined “Senator Hirono Demands ACB Be Weighed Against a Duck To See if She Is a Witch” – “incites violence,” Dillon revealed on Twitter.

Facebook also ordered the Bee to edit its article, which described Hawaii Senator Hirono subjecting Supreme Court nominee Barrett to the deliberately nonsensical “witch test” from the classic comedy film ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, and “not [to] speak publicly about internal content reviews,” Dillon continued, concluding with a cheeky “Oops, did I just tweet this?”

“In what universe does a fictional quote as part of an obvious joke constitute a genuine incitement to violence?” the CEO tweeted, contrasting Facebook’s actions with the tolerance shown toward Black Lives Matter protesters who threatened to burn down “this system.”

Hirono, in the article, delivers the whole Monty Python monologue, which concludes that “logically, if Amy Coney Barrett weighs as much as this duck I found in the reflection pool outside, she is a witch and must be burned.” But the article ends well for would-be Justice Barrett, as Senate Majority Leader “Mitch McConnell entered the room and put a stop to the proceedings” before the nominee could be weighed against the duck using “the bathroom scale from Jerry Nadler’s office.”

While the lines would be familiar to anyone who’s seen the film, or anyone who’s ever spent time with anyone who’s seen the film, Facebook’s reviewers apparently fell into neither category. Their missing sense of humor stuck in the craw of many social media users, however, including Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri), who has become one of the most vocal critics of Big Tech censorship in Washington.

Others commiserated by sharing the unremarkable circumstances that had led to their own banning…

…or suggesting the only logical response.

Dillon, for his part, vowed he would not be editing the article.

The conservative-leaning Bee’s humour has often gone unappreciated by the Big Tech platforms that host it. Twitter suspended its account entirely in August amid what many insisted was a targeted purge of accounts satirizing the “woke” Left, before reinstating it hours later amid public outcry. Meanwhile, liberal fact-checker Snopes has repeatedly targeted the Bee with its disinformation warnings, arguing this is necessary because – according to a less-than-scientific “study” conducted last year – a hefty minority of Republicans believe its articles are real.

Unscientific as that study may have been, the Bee’s articles have fooled such influential figures as President Donald Trump, who retweeted a headline claiming “Twitter shuts down entire network to slow spread of negative Biden news” last week – though admittedly this was during a period in which Twitter was blocking all attempts to tweet a New York Post story unfavorable to the Democratic candidate.

92 percent of political contributions made by Facebook employees over the 2020 campaign period have gone to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org. Some 99 percent of donations from Twitter employees had gone to the same party.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google have fervently denied earlier accusations of bias against conservatives despite evidence to the contrary – including multiple whistleblower reports, hidden camera videos, as well as internal company documents. Some media influencers even insist Facebook is actually slanted in favor of them.

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