Twitter has permanently suspended the account of controversial UK author David Icke, saying it violated Twitter’s rules regarding Covid misinformation. YouTube and Facebook zapped Icke’s accounts in early May for the same reason.
The ban hit this week as Icke’s Twitter handle boasted more than 380,000 followers. But it didn’t come as news to the controversial speaker and author, who said in an interview with RT on Thursday that he was temporarily banned at least twice, in September and in October, before getting the boot for good.
Icke’s trouble with the platform came as it tightened its rules regarding spread of coronavirus-related “misinformation” and questioning the pandemic in any fashion. Previous offending posts have fetched him two 7-days suspensions, sharing articles doubting the usefulness of face masks, as well as alleging the true purpose of Covid-19 rapid tests in the UK.
The last post, which ultimately resulted in the permanent ban, criticized the UK government’s plans to stage a pilot city-wide coronavirus testing scheme in Liverpool. Icke alleged that the real purpose of this endeavor was to give citizens faked positive tests and to “impose ever more extreme fascism” as a result.
The move by Twitter, however, only proves his point, Icke believes. “It is going to dawn on the media, probably far too late, that what I’ve been saying is true. So that puts into context why the Silicon Valley giant corporations like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter are set out to silence me. It’s very simple,” Icke stated.
People should ask themselves what is going on when the Silicon Valley corporations actually say publicly that we’re going to censor anyone and anything that challenges the World Health Organization version of this fake pandemic.
Icke pointed out striking similarities in how most countries have tackled the pandemic, claiming the restrictions were actually imposed by mysterious handlers from the World Health Organization (WHO), who maneuvered governments into ushering in the global dictatorship. Icke went as far as to allege the Covid-19 virus does not exist, claiming it had never been “isolated” by scientists.
Such extreme views have already resulted in Icke’s expulsion from YouTube and Facebook earlier this year. The London-based Center for Countering Digital Hate, which has actively campaigned against Icke for months, has estimated his fellowship dropped significantly after he was removed from mainstream platforms. The organization has called on Big Tech firms to “act on other racists and antivaxxers spreading dangerous lies.”
Our research shows Icke’s following and reach have plummeted since his removal from mainstream platforms.Now it’s time for big tech to act on other racists and antivaxxers spreading dangerous lies. https://t.co/qg923geGzipic.twitter.com/gdoK38XBgy
— Center for Countering Digital Hate (@CCDHate) November 3, 2020
So far, only Icke’s Instagram account has been spared the tightening censorship of the mainstream social media giants. On the Facebook-owned platform, Icke boasts more than 200,000 followers. Despite his waning presence on a number of platforms, Icke’s materials are readily available from his personal website, as well as from accounts on other, lesser known – and less censorship-prone – sites, including YouTube alternative BitChute, as well as social media platforms like Gab, VK and others.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic late last year, social media platforms have come under increasing pressure to regulate misinformation on Covid-19. In March, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube issued a joint statement on the need to join forces to “combat fraud and misinformation about the virus.”
However, the platforms are often criticized by users – among them doctors, scientists, politicians and activists – for “flagging” posts for merely discussing Covid-19 mortality rates, or even taking down accounts altogether for allegedly spreading “falsehoods” about the health crisis.