Two weeks ago, I tweeted a triptych that read: “How censorship happens: a story in three parts.” The first image was of a recent Vice headline stating that Facebook was moving to ban white nationalism and white separatism. The second was a tweet by left-wing activist Anthony Watson referring to Quillette as a “right-wing, white-nationalist website.” The third was a tweet thread in which two Canadian academics speak about monitoring and making a list of Canadians who dared to publish with Quillette.
Censorship happens as quickly as one can construct a false syllogism. And right now would be a very good time for us to start paying attention to where and how it’s happening.
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg penned a recent op-ed in the Washington Post in which he advocated for
Of course, big tech is not waiting for the laws they crave to take action. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube have all deplatformed controversial figures such as Alex Jones, Faith Goldy, and Milo Yiannopoulos. These precedents have then been used to ban perfectly mainstream and reasonable figures like Meghan Murphy, a feminist who committed the high crime of “misgendering” on Twitter. She’s not the only one. Gender critical voices are routinely banned on Twitter, while their opposition is free to libel and level threats of violence with no administrative consequences.
It seems that the rush to censor coincides with major tragedies in the world. Or, perhaps the censors among us exploit tragedies in order to achieve their goals of making our culture antiseptic. The desires of speech-denying ideologues line up perfectly with big tech companies, who are primarily interested in manifesting their dominance in marketplaces worldwide, not adhering to ethical standards.
As the regressive censors continue to dance with their corporate partners, it’s never been clearer that we need more speech and more platforms.
Take, for instance, the rush to smear conservative commentator Ben Shapiro in the wake of the Notre Dame Cathedral tragedy. Shapiro tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking. A magnificent monument to Western civilization collapsing” He added a few follow-up tweets stressing the importance of God and Judeo-Christian tradition.
As a result, Washington Post contributor Talia Levin spat out an incoherent hot take claiming that Shapiro was stoking racial tensions: “Given the already-raging rumors about potential Muslim involvement, these tweets evoked the specter of a war between Islam and the West that is already part of numerous far-right narratives,” she wrote. Levin also unfairly slimed conservative writer and filmmaker Mike Cernovich, whose “wordcrime” was to tweet “The West has fallen.” In Levin’s depraved mind, these simply phrased, mournful tweets are enough to liken these conservatives to actual Nazis like Richard Spencer. It’s disgusting.
When Shapiro punched back on Twitter, Media Matters got involved. For those who aren’t aware, Media Matters is the powerful woke-scold organization that regularly boycotts and slimes prominent conservatives in the name of progress.
“Fuck you and the burro you rode on.” There it is. These are the words of the “prestigious” organization that wants to keep us safe from dangerous language. The tweet was properly ratioed, and the Washington Post smear backfired this time, but if Levin had her way, the “trust and safety” teams of big tech would be holding meetings to figure out how to get Shapiro off of their platforms.
After the New Zealand mosque shooting, a major bookstore banned Jordan Peterson’s self-help book, 12 Rules for Life, in a completely ill-advised attempt to to keep their culture safe. Of course, the irony was that Peterson’s work is specifically effective in helping young men sort out their lives and avoid the pitfalls of radicalization. Thanks to the voices of reasonable people, Peterson’s book was reinstated.
The censors among us start out by targeting Alex Jones or Faith Goldy or whoever they feel they can safely say is a conspiracy theorist or a white supremacist. But they don’t stop there. If they had their way, they would never stop. They simply need those people for precedent. Did you develop an appreciation of Western civilization by listening to Ben Shapiro? You’re a white supremacist. Did you clean your room and straighten out your life thanks to Dr. Peterson’s book? You’re a white supremacist. Did you publish an essay with Quillette? You’re a white supremacist.
We can all clearly see the game that they’re playing, and we can’t let them win. We need to speak out while we still can.
UPDATE: Around 8 pm on Tuesday evening, police moved in on blockaders who were blocking the train tracks. Independent photojournalist Beth Baisch continues to try to cover the blockade and continues to be followed by a harassing anti-pipeline activist.
An anti-pipeline blockade was established in Toronto near the corner of Jane and Dundas at the end of the workday on Tuesday. Police were quick to respond and are currently facing off against the blockaders.
Police took some blockaders off the tracks but others remain and the tracks are still blocked as blockaders are demanding an Indigenous liaison.
Photojournalist Beth Baisch, who has freelanced for The Post Millennial, is on the scene, is being blocked from taking video by activists.
The blockade was set up by Toronto group Rising Tide Toronto and was one of a few blockades that prevented thousands of people from getting home from work.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Conservative leadership candidate, Peter MacKay, is not a fan of the legalization of marijuana. He says he is worried about how it will affect driving, mental health and young people according to Vice.
During an interview with the Kelowna Daily Courier MacKay said that he believes the legalization of marijuana was “forced” and it should only have been decriminalized.
“It should have been decriminalized and that’s where our government was heading on the advice of the Canadian Police Association and chiefs of police. Bringing in a phased-way with decriminalization would have been far preferable. What I most worry about is the impact on young people, the mental health implications, the impaired driving implications,” said MacKay.
Stats Canada released information that conflicts with some of MacKay’s views. The statistics show that consumption of marijuana in 15-17-year-olds has dropped 10 percent since its legalization.
MacKay described the legalization as a “back-of-a-napkin promise that the current prime minister had made.”
He also called the attempt by the government to reduce black market sales a “complete failure.”
“I believe we have jumped the shark on that issue. More emphasis on protecting people from other drugs, fentanyl and oxycontin has to be part of any plan that’s there for public health reasons.” MacKay continued.
“The promise that it (legalization) was going to reduce the black market has been a complete failure. There’s now simply more marijuana available to more people, including young people. I don’t think that’s the most productive and highest priority that a government could pursue.”
MacKay is not the only politician against cannabis legalization. Former Conservative MP Julian Fantino compared legalization to murder in an old interview with the Toronto Sun, Fantino said, “I guess we can legalize murder, too, and then we won’t have a murder case”
In 2015, Fantino said he was still “completely opposed to legalization of marijuana”
Peter MacKay’s campaign manager Alex Nuttall has had to apologize over a tweet that seemed to link an invitation to a shooting range with complaints about the anti-pipeline protests.
In his original tweet, Nuttall said “tonight might be the best church service ever. People keep walking up to me to saying the blockade should go down … and then they announced a day at the range for anyone that wants to go.”
This tweet soon created outrage on social media, with many seeing Nuttall’s message as a suggestion for Canadians to “shoot ingenious people.” Nuttall, however, was quickly clarified his tweet, saying “there are two unrelated thoughts that shouldn’t have been communicated together.”
Peter MacKay’s campaign has been plagued with mistakes on social media. A few weeks ago, Mackay had to apologize for a tweet referencing the Prime Minister’s indulgence in yoga, which seemed to make fun of the innocuous activity.
After Nuttall published the apology, he made his Twitter account private.
A murder with a hammer that killed a 64-year-old Toronto woman on Feb. 21 is being called a terrorist attack by police, as the murderer now faces terrorism-related charges.
Police say Saad Akhtar, 30, was facing first-degree murder charges over the death of the woman, when those charges were changed to “murder-terrorist activity” by prosecutors. The change was made due to the prosecutors belief that the murder constituted terrorist activity.
“As part of our investigation into the homicide, we came across evidence that lead us to believe there may be a terrorism-related offence,” said Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray to Global News.
Police contacted the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in Toronto, the group responsible for probing terrorism cases. The charges were then changed Monday morning.
Akhtar would eventually turn himself into police shortly after the attack.
The victim was apparently a random target. Sixty-four-year-old Hang-Kam Annie Chiu was called “a stranger” by the suspect’s mother.
If found guilty of terrorism charges, it would be the first deadly terrorist instance since the July 22, 2018 Danforth shootings in which Faisal Hussain killed two people and injured 13 in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood.
Akhtar’s murder occurred on his usual daily walk home from his local mosque, but his mother claims he did not return home at the usual time. Police say the murder did not occur on Akhtar’s usual route home.