Instagram Bans Babylon Bee Founder's Pro-Life Cartoon as 'Hate Speech'
Last week, Adam Ford, the popular Christian comic artist who founded satire site The Babylon Bee, posted on Instagram a comic comparing the moral outrage of abortion to the moral outrage of slavery. On Wednesday, he noticed that Instagram had pulled the post for "hate speech." Ford called the ban's timing suspect, given the rising tide of outrage against abortion in recent months.
"This is the third time a Facebook property has tried to silence me without any justification," Ford told PJ Media on Wednesday. "The first was for a comic defending traditional marriage, and the second was when I was running The Babylon Bee and they tried to label it as 'fake news.' It just keeps happening. And it only seems to happen to conservatives."
Instagram told Ford that his post "has been deleted" because "it doesn't follow our Community Guidelines on hate speech or symbols."
"Even if you didn't mean to offend, remember that we created these guidelines to support and protect our community on Instagram. When hate speech is being shared to challenge it or to raise awareness, we may allow it," the company added. "We remove posts with captions that encourage violence or attack anyone based on who they are. We remove specific threats of physical harm, theft, and vandalism."
Ford's comic did none of those things, however. Instead, it compared the moral outrage of slavery to the moral outrage of abortion. He argued that pro-abortion activists are dehumanizing babies in the womb in the same way that defenders of slavery dehumanized black Americans before the Civil War. Here is the comic in full:
This comic is nothing like "hate speech." It does not encourage violence or attack anyone. It does not involve threats of physical harm, theft, or vandalism. It merely illustrates the dehumanization of unborn babies in the womb, comparing it to the vile dehumanization of black Americans under slavery.
Ford told PJ Media, "I don't think the timing of this [ban] is coincidental. After the massive pushback we've seen against the radical Democrat abortion campaigns in places like New York and Virginia, and the attempted censoring of the Unplanned movie recently (Twitter account suspended, advertisements blacklisted), it seems there's a method here."
Indeed, Unplanned was suspended on Twitter hours after it opened, and it mysteriously lost 99,000 Twitter followers shortly thereafter. Yet the movie received more coverage after these hurdles and gained even more followers than Planned Parenthood.
In recent months, the radical New York abortion bill (which makes abortion legal up until birth, even though New Yorkers oppose this), the radical Virginia abortion bill, and Gov. Ralph Northam's (D-Va.) comments supporting infanticide have driven more Americans to identify as "pro-life."
"With abortion being such an active conversation right now, you'd think the social media companies would be on high-alert to NOT be censoring legitimate viewpoints," Ford insisted. Instead, it seems like social media companies are itching for a fight.
You can view more of Ford's comics here.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.