Big Tech Strikes Again, Locking Out Babylon Bee for 'Hateful Conduct' After Site Satirizes Trans Biden Official


Big Tech can’t take a joke — and because of that, the most popular conservative satire site on the web is locked out of its Twitter account.

In a tweet Sunday night, Seth Dillon of The Babylon Bee announced the popular comedy site had been locked out of its account for supposed “hateful conduct.”

The suspension came after a tweet of an article on Tuesday in which Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services, was awarded the Bee’s “Man of the Year” award.

Levine, who is a man, identifies as female. He’s the highest-ranking transgender individual in any administration.

This isn’t the first time the Bee has faced issues with Big Tech, social media or fact-checkers — all of whom seem to think a satire site represents an existential threat to the party line on flashpoint social issues they expect conservatives to toe.

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(Not that it’s different if you aren’t satire. We’re all too familiar with that here at The Western Journal, where companies like Google try to starve us of ad revenue if we say something that runs afoul of the liturgy of Silicon Valley. We refuse to give in, however — and you can help by subscribing.)

However, locking the Bee out of its Twitter account is another thing entirely, particularly given the context.

Last week, USA Today named Levine one of its “Women of the Year” — proof that the patriarchy is so entrenched its members can even worm their way onto lists intended for the distaff gender.

“We need to be welcoming and celebratory for women of all aspects, of all sizes and shapes,” Levine said in his USA Today profile. “And we have to work towards that compassion for all women and not put such an emphasis on thinness and appearance.

“I think that we need to work as a culture in the United States, but also globally, to be more compassionate and more accepting of girls and women, no matter what their size and shape.”

The profile was the kind of po-faced hagiography that begged to be skewered — and the conservative, Christian satire site did so, giving Levine its “Man of the Year” award and noting that “he serves proudly as the first man in that position to dress like a western cultural stereotype of a woman. He is also an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. What a boss!”

“Rachel’s original name is Richard Levine, but he changed it to Rachel for some strange reason a few years ago. Who cares? Who says a dude as accomplished as this can’t be named ‘Rachel?'” the article read.

“This king doesn’t care what people think about him! He often wears a dress, which some people think is weird — but he doesn’t care one bit. Come on! Men in India wear dress-type garments, don’t they?

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“Rachel’s message is to ‘be true to yourself,’ and we couldn’t agree more. This man is breaking barriers and showing us all the true meaning of courage.

“We applaud this precious and perfectly made child of God for all his accomplishments and hope he stays true to who God made him to be.”

In an “update,” the Bee joked that it had been notified of Levine identifying as female.

“We have still chosen to give the award as his self-identification has no bearing on the truth,” it said.

Can I get a fire emoji or five?

Do you think the Bee's article represents "hateful conduct"?

Unfortunately, Twitter didn’t agree, finding that the tweet violated its “hateful conduct” rules: “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.”

It did nothing of the sort, of course. In fact, one could make a reasonable argument that Twitter remains in perpetual violation of its own rules by attacking Christians who maintain a biblical view of sex, gender and marriage.

The social media platform made a similar move last year when two U.S. House members — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Jim Banks of Indiana — also declined to call Levine a woman.

The Bee’s case was decidedly different, however, if just because it was satire, not Beltway politics.

While there was no promotion of violence or threats or harassment, the Bee’s post made a salient point in a humorous way: No matter what gender he claims to be, Levine was created by God with X and Y chromosomes. Beyond being created as who you are, the Bible is fairly clear on men and women exhibiting physical characteristics of the opposite sex or dressing in their clothes.

Despite this, in 2018, Twitter said it would include “targeted misgendering or dead naming of transgender individuals” under that “hateful conduct” policy, according to Fox News.

But it’s just one article, right? All the Bee has to do is delete the tweet and it will be let into its account after a 12-hour suspension.

Dillon is refusing to budge, however.

“We’re not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it,” he tweeted.

In the thread, Dillon offered advice to others being told to silence themselves to acquiesce to social media’s rules.

“Never censor yourself. Insist that 2 and 2 make 4 even if Twitter tries to compel you to say otherwise. Make them ban tens of millions of us,” he said.

Twitter — and other social media companies — don’t believe they’ll ever face that kind of pushback. Just play by their rules, they say, and you can speak about whatever else you want — in language of which they approve, of course.

It’s yet another reminder that if we don’t push back now, we might never have another chance.

CORRECTION, March 22, 2022: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect description of male chromosomes. They are X and Y.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture