Facebook permanently banned LifeSiteNews — one of the largest pro-life websites — from the social media platform on Tuesday. The ban comes four months after YouTube did the same in February, and Twitter in January.
LifeSiteNews reported Facebook stripped its page after it published an op-ed in April raising concerns over potential side effects of the coronavirus vaccines administered to individuals previously infected with COVID-19.
“In a quick series of notices and emails to LifeSiteNews’ marketing department, Facebook delivered the shocking news, accusing LifeSite of publishing ‘false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm,'” the pro-life site explained to readers. “Facebook also said that they deplatform Facebook pages that publish ‘vaccine discouraging information on the platform.'”
LifeSiteNews’ pro-abortion rivals took a victory lap on Twitter, celebrating big tech’s role as the arbiters of truth with demands Silicon Valley be more aggressive to deplatform conservative rivals.
“We’ll take the win,” wrote NARAL Pro-Choice [Pro-Abortion] America President Ilyse Hogue on Twitter. “The more platforms that ban LifeSite, the better because they are primary purveyors of some of the most toxic disinformation out there.”
1st, we'll take the win. The more platforms that ban LifeSite, the better because they are primary purveyors of some of the most toxic disinformation out there. BUT, it shouldn't be on on us to have to prove that to Facebook. They need internal systems to do this job.
— Ilyse Hogue (@ilyseh) May 7, 2021
Hogue went on to engage in routine progressive smears of the conservative website as a perpetrator of “white supremacist content” and “anti-LGBTQ content.”
“So, we’re far from done here,” Hogue wrote. “Facebook has set a precedent on COVID disinformation and it should be applied universally across actors on their platform.”
So, we're far from done here. Facebook has set a precedent on COVID disinformation and it should be applied universally across actors on their platform, and they should not rely on users and groups to do the heavy lifting of monitoring, tracking and documenting abuse.
— Ilyse Hogue (@ilyseh) May 7, 2021
LifeSiteNews meanwhile, also remains locked out of its account on the platform Hogue is writing freely.
Since January, Twitter has kept LifeSiteNews, and all affiliated accounts run by the group — including one focused solely on abortion and another on Catholicism — have been frozen. The company stripped the website of account access because it tweeted President Joe Biden’s Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, is a man. LifeSite was offered to appeal the decision if it deleted the post in a concession the pro-life group refused to make.
“We have nothing operating on Twitter,” LifeSite’s Rebekah Roberts told The Federalist. Nor is LifeSite still on YouTube.
The video-sharing platform banned the pro-life website after it developed more than 314,000 subscribers for similar infractions of its determined COVID-19 misinformation policy.
“Any channel that violates our COVID-19 misinformation policy will receive a strike, which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming,” a YouTube spokesman wrote The Federalist in an email at the time. “Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube.”
The group had previously received four strikes for “medical misinformation” under YouTube’s guidelines since November, one of which was successfully appealed. One video featured a doctor rejecting “unfounded public hysteria” over the novel Wuhan coronavirus. Another highlighted a doctor speaking about his refusal to accept a vaccine derived from aborted babies, for which that strike was reversed. A third video claimed unborn babies were used for vaccine development who were alive at the time their bodies were exploited. The fourth and final infraction to trigger the permanent suspension remains unclear four months later without the option to appeal.
“We couldn’t even file an appeal on that last strike,” Roberts said, noting even the back end of the account was taken offline. “We had no access to anything.”