Brandon Straka, the former Democrat who founded the #WalkAway campaign was banned from Facebook ahead of a protest in Washington DC. “They’re trying to sabotage the march on Washington,” he told RT.
Straka was banned from the social network on Wednesday, for attempting to promote an interview on Infowars.com, the conspiracy-heavy news and opinion site of Alex Jones, who was recently banned from a host of internet platforms, including Facebook, for allegedly pushing “hate speech.”
FACEBOOK JUST BANNED ME AS I AM PLANNING THE #WalkAway March on Washington!!! I have been banned from posting leading up to the March. This is devastated for our ability to reach people!!! I was banned for mentioning my interview with Alex Jones. Can anybody help??? pic.twitter.com/DDozepNaAI
— Brandon Straka (The Unsilent Minority) (@usminority) September 12, 2018
Facebook lifted the ban shortly afterwards, but Straka sees it as a deliberate effort to sabotage his march on the nation’s capital, set for October 26. In meting out the ban, Facebook’s speech-police identified “infowars” as the triggering word.
“To lose my platform that way is devastating,” he told RT. “And essentially, what I think they’re doing, or are trying to do, is to sabotage the march on Washington using this ‘infowars’ word as a catalyst’”
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from RT.
Straka, an openly gay hairdresser, started the #WalkAway movement to protest what he says is the Democratic party’s exploitation of minorities to further its political agenda. In the viral video that kickstarted the #WalkAway movement, Straka accused Democrats of cultivating a victim mentality among the party’s minority supporters, and argued that the modern left has devolved into “hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded, and at times blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric.”
“I think the expectation for a lot of minority groups is that we’re supposed to vote Democrat, and that we’re supposed to be liberals. So I found myself sort of in that tribe on the Left most of my life,” Straka told RT in July. “What I wanted to do is get people back in touch with their voices and push back against the narrative on the Left.”
Long before it came under Facebook’s ban-hammer, #WalkAway was blasted by CNN for allegedly being promoted by ‘Russian bots.’ CNN’s criticism was based on ‘research’ by Hamilton 68, a web dashboard published by the Alliance for Securing Democracy, that claims to track “Kremlin-influenced” Twitter accounts. Hamilton 68 does not reveal which accounts it thinks are “Kremlin-influenced,” and has been accused by journalist James Carden of trying to “police and narrow the scope of acceptable political discourse.”
Like many on the right, Straka accuses Facebook of a bias against conservatives.
“These bans and blocks and suppression only seem to affect people on the right,” he said. “I never see them [liberals] getting banned. It’s time for action, and to push for freedom of speech. This is what it’s really about.”
President Trump too has pointed to Silicon Valley’s apparent problem with conservative speech, and has promised to take action. However, in recent months, more and more leftist voices and alternative news pages are also complaining about unfair censorship on Facebook.
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