‘Have You Ever Heard Of These Mistakes Going The Other Direction?’: Babylon Bee Suspended By Email Marketing Site ‘Mailchimp’

Move comes as Facebook promises to crackdown on satire that ‘punches down’
Via Getty Images

Mailchimp temporarily suspended popular conservative satire site The Babylon Bee on Wednesday, saying it had violated the email marketing service’s “standard terms of use and acceptable use” policy. The notification invited the outlet to “review our policies for more information on the types of content we don’t allow.”

Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon alerted Bee fans to Mailchimp’s decision on Twitter, joking, “I’d email everyone to let them know @Mailchimp just suspended our account but Mailchimp just suspended our account.”

Shortly after Dillon’s post, Mailchimp replied, “Hey Seth. We got this in front of our Compliance team and they’ve reinstated the account. Our team followed up in an email with more details. We apologize for the inconvenience.” In that email, a company rep told the Bee an automated “harmful information” filter caused the error.

However, the rep did not explain what keyword triggered the suspension or what policy the Bee was supposed to have violated. The company also failed to respond to the Daily Wire’s request for an explanation.

Babylon Bee Editor-in-Chief Kyle Mann told The Daily Wire he can’t be certain whether the suspension was ideologically motivated or just an honest mistake but asked, “Have you ever heard of these ‘mistakes’ going the other direction?”

Mailchimp’s suspension comes at a time when the Bee is under increasing fire from other tech companies.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Facebook has updated its community standards on what qualifies as “satire,” with the company’s new oversight board claiming that true satire doesn’t “punch down.”

“The target of humorous or satirical content is often an indicator of intent. And if content is simply derogatory, not layered, complex, or subversive, it is not satire,” the social media giant announced in a blog post, adding, “Indeed, humor can be an effective mode of communicating hateful ideas.”

The language of the statement seems particularly telling as left-wing critics routinely level accusations of punching down at the Bee. In fact, on Tuesday, a few days after Facebook’s announcement, Slate magazine published an opinion piece that argues readers should be wary of the satire site because it has “a nasty tendency to punch down with humor parts of its audience finds ‘refreshingly politically incorrect.’”

Reacting to the juxtaposition of Facebook’s statement and Slate’s opinion piece, Dillon tweeted, “If you can’t see where this is going next, you’re blind.”

Dillon told The Daily Wire he has little doubt Facebook’s new satire policy is targeted at his company. “The left has tried and failed to mischaracterize us as misinformation, so now they’re repositioning to attack us from another angle,” he said. “If ‘punching down’ is not allowed on Facebook, then what better way to suppress our content than to say we have a ‘nasty tendency’ to do just that? Here we have a perfect example of how the media and big tech are working together to protect their sacred cows.”

For this reason, Mann said his company is trying to be as “independent of third-party technical services” as possible. “They can’t be avoided, but wherever we can, we’ll run our own tech or find a service that’s friendly to free speech,” he explained.

To that end, Dillon says though Mailchimp suspension has lifted the suspension, the Bee is working on setting up service through another provider.

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