Social media has quickened the power and efficiency of pro-Trump groups and the conservative movement to organize and inform. I could have never connected with people like Marco Gutierrez of Latinos for Trump without social media. I can’t dial up renowned conservative leaders or alternative journalists in the media, and email is not quick enough. Unions and social justice warriors used to organize with ease. Now we conservatives can beat them at their own game.
There are banes to social media, too, of course. Major platforms like Facebook have made information consumers all over the world dependent on the medium. There’s a sense of false advertising about the platform now that they throttle the algorithms for networks, media companies, and small businesses. In spite of Mark Zuckerberg’s pledges not to sell data or misuse private information, leaks, data mining, and intrusions into our daily lives have become more common.
Another issue which has darkened social media’s otherwise welcome and meaningful presence in our lives is the rise of Anti-Semitism and unfounded criticism of Israel. It’s surprising to me how much hatred of Jews, Israel, and the Judeo-Christian ethic tied to Judaism and Torah have swamped social media. I still remember the hostile debates I used to engage in on Twitter. Nevertheless, there is still outrage toward Jews, and Israel provokes intense dislike from otherwise conservative youth.
This Anti-Jewish sentiment has troubled me for so long, I finally uploaded a 10-minute video to YouTube denouncing this lingering hated. I expounded how there are a number of outstanding Jews who not only promote conservatism, but who have identified the outlandish frauds which have fomented anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist sentiment at large.
Then the unthinkable happened. Within 24 hours, YouTube took down my video and hit me with a community strike. Why? My video was deemed “hate speech” (see the image above). I was speechless.
I kid you not: YouTube actually labeled my video attacking anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as “hate speech”! Is it any surprise that the social media universe as we know it is facing unprecedented tides and backlashes from everyday users?
Let me be clear: I defend the right for anyone to speak their minds—even if they spout anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist views. Free speech is not going to kill me, and a free-flowing proliferation of ideas will ensure that bad ideas die in the marketplace of discussion and good ideas, which line up with reality are promoted and prosper. You don’t think the Holocaust happened? Where’s your proof, and I will provide more resources and evidence to counter the lie.
Why do so many anti-Semites pontificate on social media? They can vent freely, hiding behind pseudonyms. They can spout the vilest opinions about Jews and the Jewish state without fear of exposure, shame, or even reprisal. Besides, the Internet has enabled the rapid spread of conspiracy theories, bolstering strong views with a veneer of professionalism and integrity. “I found it on the Internet. It must be true!”
Two months ago, I was eating at a local restaurant. Someone told me that they liked my “Make California Great Again” hat. Then suddenly he started ranting about how “The Jews” were behind 9-11. I was shocked and disgusted. He seemed relatively young. Why would he believe any of that trash? I pressed him to explain where he got this information. Instead of answering, he began attacking me, and I in turn called him out for his baseless, anti-Semitic attacks.
This is scary stuff, folks.Drawing from that isolated exchange, I want to expound on how perverse and disturbing this more recent yet nascent trend of anti-Semitism, or generalized criticism of Jews and Israel has become. Among certain pro-American nationalists and other “red-pilled” groups, anti-Israel sentiments have achieved a notorious stronghold. Some of their members complain about “Jewish elites” and the prevalence of Jews who promote secular, leftist dogma in the media and entertainment industries. These young “conservatives” argue that there must be some subversive link between Jewish people and anti-American sentiments. True, some textbook publishers happen to be Jewish, as are certain members of the discredited hate group The Southern Poverty Law Center. Some “red-pilled” types have gone further, castigating Jews because the founder of Communism, Karl Marx and one of its most lethal practitioners, Leon Trotsky, happened to be Jewish.
The truth is that these are broad coincidences, spurious correlations, and nothing more. Sure, Sumner Redstone, who runs CBS, is Jewish; but Rupert Murdoch (News Corps, Fox News) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon, The Washington Post) are not. Influential conservatives like Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, and even David Rubin are Jewish. Jewish equals Anti-American, Zionist conspiracy? I think not.
Even if every media executive were Jewish, that’s not evidence of an anti-American globalist conspiracy, like the one described in the debunked “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Sadly, that Czarist forgery still has currency in Arab countries. To this day, Muslims are indoctrinated to believe those lies. But they are lies nonetheless. Nor does it explain away the disturbing trend of young Americans fleeing liberalism for conservatism, only then to embrace these anti-Jewish sentiments.
Want to stop hate speech? The answer is more speech. Unfortunately, Big Techies claim to oppose “hate speech”, but won’t let me speak out against it. What irony. We must confront suppression of speech as well as anti-Semitism—which social media has enabled to flow so freely.
Nevertheless, in spite of Big Tech’s nefarious suppression efforts, social media has remained a major boon for the conservative movement. President Trump is skirting the diminished mainstream media’s left-wing filter to get his story out directly to We the people. Who cares if some of his tweets descend into personal attacks or off-color remarks? As long as the President speaks his mind freely against the deceptive Deep State, the sold-out media, and amoral Hollywood elites, why should we complain or want him muzzled?
I should be allowed to use social media to confront anti-Semitism, too, don’t you think?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.