Criticizing the Squad Is Not Permitted [Updated]

Alpha News is Minnesota’s scrappy alternative news service. Scott serves on Alpha’s board, and my organization both supports and collaborates with Alpha. Today Alpha reported that Facebook has threatened to ban its page for posting a cartoon that Facebook found offensive:

Facebook has threatened to ban Alpha News from its platform for publishing an anti-Hamas cartoon.

The Alpha News Facebook page now has “reduced distribution and other restrictions” for publishing a cartoon from syndicated cartoonist A.F. Branco, whose political satire is shared widely by conservative outlets, including Fox News.

The cartoon in question was critical of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for their commentary on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

That, of course, is the point. You can criticize Hamas on Facebook, but you can’t criticize the Squad. This is the cartoon:

Some liberals might argue that the Squad is anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, but not pro-Hamas. I don’t agree, as I wrote here. But at a bare minimum, charging the Squad with being apologists for Hamas is fair comment. Certainly Facebook allows all kinds of commentary supportive of the Squad, Hamas and Palestinian activists (i.e., terrorists and rioters). This is consistent with the fact that Democrats are far more likely to be pro-Hamas than pro-Israel.

So, what is the point? Many conservative news organizations, activists and pundits have invested a great deal, over the last decade, in building Facebook followings. Facebook, like Twitter, has been a good and generally easy way of reaching an audience. But there is a fatal flaw: those platforms are run by left-wingers who seize any opportunity to suppress conservative speech and put their thumb on the scale in favor of the far left.

Relying on these platforms was a shortcut to getting an audience, and it is easy to understand why so many chose that path. But those conservatives are now hostage to their political opponents. As I have said before, I think the conservative migration to social media was a mistake. Here at Power Line, we are on the free internet. No one can “moderate” our posts or subject our writing to some vague set of standards enforced inconsistently by no identifiable human being.

If we want to criticize the Squad, there is no one to stop us. In my opinion, conservative organizations and commentators should consider abandoning their social media platforms, and migrating back to the free internet. Or else stake a claim on platforms that are committed to free speech and do not discriminate against conservatives. Like Parler, which has been viciously suppressed by liberal Big Tech organizations but has survived, and is now being run by my friend George Farmer.

In the meantime, conservatives who stay on Facebook can expect discrimination, unless and until effective state legislation can bring such discrimination to a halt.

UPDATE: A reader sent us this image of a graphic and Facebook’s response to a user’s complaint about it. It illustrates the Left’s total lack of balance when it comes to Israel and its enemies. I haven’t researched it, but our reader assures me that it is genuine: