Last year, the Babylon Bee was censored for naming Rachel Levine its "Man of the Year." Now, the David Horowitz Freedom Center has been banned over a speech about that joke.
On Friday afternoon, Seth Dillon, the gregarious leader of the Babylon Bee, took the floor to tell attendees at the Center's Restoration Weekend about his fight against censorship.
When USA Today named Rick 'Rachel' Levine, a transgender Biden administration official, as one of its "Women of the Year," the Babylon Bee responded by naming him its "Man of the Year."
And Twitter locked the Bee's account for "hateful conduct" for telling the obvious truth.
That Orwellian act of censorship was described as one of the most "consequential" moments in the anti-woke struggle against Big Tech and helped lead to Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter.
Dillon was talking about the past, but while we sat in a New Orleans ballroom, little did we know that history was about to repeat itself sooner than anyone expected. After concluding another successful Restoration Weekend featuring Dillon along with many important (and often censored) speakers and panelists, the David Horowitz Freedom Center began sharing their talks with the rest of the conservative movement by uploading them on the Vimeo video site.
On Monday morning, I began hearing that all of our videos had suddenly disappeared.
A conservative on the internet is always one thought away from being censored. And the David Horowitz Freedom Center has been banned many times before because we had taken on issues and hosted figures who challenged the leftist culture of lies. With no information from Vimeo as to why we had been censored, the Center's team could only speculate what woke dogma we had violated that hurt the tender feelings of the boys on the 10th floor in Manhattan.
Was it our panels and remarks about Islamic terrorism? YouTube had previously come after us to suppress Robert Spencer's magnificent exposés of the ideology of terror and death. Had it been John Eastman's stunning elucidation of the stolen presidential election after receiving his Annie Taylor award? Simone Gold's presentation on medical fascism? Yeomi Park's story contrasting her life in North Korea with the Maoism of college campuses? Heather Mac Donald's debunking of affirmative action? When Vimeo finally got back to us, it turned out to be the Babylon Bee.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center had been censored for a talk about censorship.
According to Vimeo, Dillon's discussion about being censored over the "Man of the Year" joke had gotten the David Horowitz Freedom Center banned. A year after Twitter was ridiculed and then taken over for classifying Babylon Bee's humor as hate speech, Vimeo sent out a letter announcing "Seth Dillon – The Babylon Bee was removed for Hate Speech." The letter refused to name anything hateful that had been said or to specify what in the talk triggered the ban.
The focus of Dillon's talk had been about the different forms of censorship that the site faced. He delved into the internal process that led the Babylon Bee to approve the "Man of the Year" joke even knowing that it risked bringing the wrath of Big Tech down on them.
"We were going back and forth when we pitched this joke," Dillon had told us at the Restoration Weekend.
"This by the way is one of the ways that they censor people. They censor you after the fact, but they also censor you before the fact. There's pre-censorship that happens because people are afraid to make jokes and statements like this knowing they will probably get censored, so they censor themselves. My writers come to me all the time saying, 'I've got a really funny joke, but if we publish this, we might get banned.'"
Not satisfied with censoring the original funny joke that named Rick "Rachel" Levine, "Man of the Year", Big Tech censored a discussion about the censorship of the joke. When we post this article, we risk being censored for discussing the censorship of the censorship of that joke.
This infinite kafkaesque censorship of any mention of the censorship takes it to a new level.
The same woke culture that holds festivities of bestselling child porn for the hypocritical orgy of its "Banned Books Week" relentlessly censors any dissent and even the existence of its censorship. Then it turns around and claims that laws in Texas and Florida that ban government censorship of speech are impinging on the free speech rights of the government to censor you.
The latest example of Big Tech censorship shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise.
Vimeo's CEO, Adam Gross, was the chair of the board of directors for Democracy Works, a Democrat voter-turnout operation, funded by many of the same leftist groups that we had exposed in the past, including the Soros network and Pierre Omidyar's operation.
Vimeo boasts that it embeds "DEI practices into our operations as essential principles" while hoping that everyone forgets that it's a spinoff of College Humor whose essential principles were weed and fart jokes. Some of College Humor's jokes, like its 2015 "Coming Out As Trans-Everything" video, would be banned on Vimeo today. (College Humor self-censored it a long time ago.)
"The reason they don't want you to say that Rachel Levine is 'Man of the Year' is because they don't want you to say that Rachel Levine is a man, they don't want you to say what's true," Dillon told us at Restoration Weekend. "They don't want you to say that 2 and 2 make 4. They want you to say that 2 and 2 make 5. And one of the most powerful things that we can do is to refuse to go along with that nonsense."
The David Horowitz Freedom Center is not going along with that nonsense. Since our earliest days we have always challenged the lies of the Left and stood up to its political intimidation.
Vimeo was not a good fit for us, but the politicization of Big Tech means few companies are. What used to be an open tech industry has become a fiefdom of leftist monopolies. And we are opting out. The David Horowitz Freedom Center has already been posting our more recent videos on Rumble and we will upload our Restoration Weekend videos, including Dillon's talk, which you can now see there, to a site where we will not be censored for telling the truth.
Doing what we do means that we are battling censorship every day. And we have the scars to prove it. Our accounts and those of our writers are being shadowbanned, locked or censored all the time. (Full disclosure: my Twitter account had been locked for discussing Islamic terrorism.) Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others have taken swipes at us. So have giants like Visa and MasterCard. We have been the object of sustained campaigns from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Color of Change, CAIR and other pressure groups to "debank" and defund us. And running our site is a constant battle with providers that, like Vimeo or Disqus, decide to ban us.
But we're still here. Still fighting. We're not going to self-censor or allow ourselves to be censored.
It was our honor to host Seth Dillon for a second time and we are not going to let Big Tech intimidate us out of bringing his words and those of our other important speakers and writers to you. Dillon's message was that no one can silence you if you refuse to stay quiet. We will not be silent. And we will not be censored. This fight we're in is too important to let the censors win.
Every act of woke censorship just spreads the message further. If Twitter hadn't decided to censor the Babylon Bee's joke that Rick "Rachel" Levine is a man, it wouldn't have been heard by all the tens of millions who have laughed at it since then. Vimeo's decision to censor his talk just means that its message and ours will spread even wider and further. Big Tech still hasn't learned that the more it tries to censor us, the more the truth will be heard.