Conservative Christian satire site The Babylon Bee has been banned from the Chinese-owned social platform TikTok.
The Babylon Bee’s social media manager posted a screenshot showing that the account had been banned, noting that it occurred with no explanation “and with no option to appeal.”
“[W]elcome to big tech in 2022,” she tweeted.
the babylon bee got banned on tiktok without being given a reason and with no option to appeal. welcome to big tech in 2022. https://t.co/ik4n4RwWw0
— MJ (@morganisawizard) July 1, 2022
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon also mentioned the TikTok ban in a post alongside other recent examples of “tech companies” that “are continuing to censor us.”
Dillon mentioned FrontHQ, an email service provider, and Linktree, a social media reference landing page.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) July 1, 2022
TikTok is owned by Chinese-based ByteDance. “Last year, the Chinese government-owned firm acquired a minority stake in the company’s main subsidiary, Beijing ByteDance Technology, according to the South China Morning Post,” the Washington Times reported.
In addition to the new TikTok ban, Dillon revealed in March that the Christian satire site had been locked out of its Twitter account for “hateful conduct.” According to Dillon, the company wrote: “Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision.”
Update: Twitter has denied The Babylon Bee's appeal. They wrote, "Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision."
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) March 24, 2022
The Daily Wire previously reported that Twitter’s initial decision occurred in reaction to a Babylon Bee piece that jokingly named Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine as “Man of the Year.” Levine — a transgender person who identifies as a woman — formerly served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve in the federal government. Recently, Levine was named one of USA Today’s “Women of the Year.”
Twitter flagged the post for violating its policy against “hateful conduct.” The rule states, “You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Dillon wrote that the account could be restored 12 hours after the company deleted the tweet linking to the Levine article. Dillon, however, refused to comply. “We’re not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech,” he wrote. “If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it.”
Despite serving as a satirical platform, the Babylon Bee has taken a strong stand for objective truth. In his message to supporters in March, Dillon offered strong words regarding his company’s stand.
“The greatest accomplishment on Twitter isn’t going viral, or building a huge following, or getting verified – it’s getting banned for saying something true. We’re proud to stand up for the truth, and we’re deeply appreciative of each and every one of you who commits to standing with us,” he wrote.
The Babylon Bee’s influence has also had an impact on Elon Musk’s efforts to purchase Twitter.
“At some point during Musk’s process of deciding to buy Twitter, he got in touch with Dillon at the Babylon Bee. Dillon will not say exactly what they discussed, but he will say that Musk wanted to confirm that Twitter had, in fact, banned the Babylon Bee over the Levine tweet. Dillon confirmed that that was indeed the case,” the Washington Examiner reported in April.