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Shaun King Suspended from Instagram – HotAir

Activist Shaun King has been suspended from Instagram where he had around 5 million followers. King is probably best known for his support for BLM and for multiple instances of amplifying false allegations (see here and here) on social media. King has lately become an outspoken supporter of Palestine and critic of Israel. He claims he was suspended because of those stances on the platform.

King condemned what he called “genocide” and “war crimes” committed by Israel in its military campaign in the Gaza Strip, which was launched in retaliation after Hamas terrorists killed approximately 1,200 Israelis and abducted about 250 on Oct. 7.

“Frustrated that Instagram has banned me for fighting for Palestine, and speaking up for the human rights and dignity of Palestinians, but I refuse to betray my values and principles by staying silent about this genocide and the war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank,” King wrote in the early morning hours.

King has repeatedly bashed Israel for invading the Gaza Strip and shared Hamas propaganda videos claiming the hostages were being treated well.

King claimed that his “sources” inside Meta said he was suspended for “fighting for Palestine” and that his IP was being tracked to prevent him from posting anything. Nevertheless he was able to post this video on a friend’s Instagram account explaining the situation.

As Yashar Ali notes, King made a point of saying he was safe, as if having an account suspended was tantamount to a threat to him in some way. I have no idea what that was about but several people were mocking him for opening with that.

According to Meta, King was suspended for praising certain individuals on the site. Meta wasn’t specific about which policy or which group but NBC News has a guess.

“The account was disabled due to multiple instances of praise for designated entities in violation of our policies,” a Meta spokesperson wrote in an email.

The spokesperson did not specify King’s violations, although Meta has come under scrutiny since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel for its Dangerous Organizations and Individuals policy, which states that its platforms do not permit “praise, substantive support and representation of various dangerous organizations and individuals.”

A Human Rights Watch report this month urged Meta to overhaul this policy, pointing to a series of “flaws” in its enforcement. The organization analyzed patterns of “heightened censorship” around content supporting Palestinians, citing user reports of Meta removing their posts or restricting their access to certain Instagram and Facebook features.

Combine that description with what the NY Post reported (above) about King posting videos of hostages and I have a guess what happened here. Over the past several weeks, the pro-Palestinian camp on X has been posting videos showing smiling Israelis be released by their masked captors. The argument, if you can call it that, is that Hamas treated the hostages so well they were almost buddies by the time they left. There were also some crude comments about Israeli women encountering real men (again meaning their Hamas captors) for the first time.

If King was posting these same videos and making similar commentary, that may have run afoul of Meta’s policy against praising Hamas (a designated terrorist group) as opposed to support for Palestinians more generally. Because Hamas is a designated terrorist group like ISIS or Al Qaeda, it’s not hard to understand why Instagram would not want someone with 5 million followers praising the group on their platform. Meta does have the right to prevent that if they think it will reflect negatively on the site and the company.

What Meta is being criticized for doing (by King and others) is almost exactly the same sort of thing Elon Musk has been attacked for failing to do, i.e. banning people from making pro-Nazi or pro-white supremacist statements on X. If you support that sort of deplatforming and support X losing advertisers over it then you already understand why Meta banned Shaun King. If on the other hand you want free speech in all cases the law allows then you should support Elon and also support Shaun King getting his account back.

Painful as it is, I’m in that latter category. As I pointed out, all of the dumb things King was apparently saying about Hamas and the hostages on Instagram were already being said on X by large accounts like Jackson Hinkle so it’s not like those opinions were unique to Shaun King. What’s really tiresome is the leftists who want to have it both ways. When Shaun King gets deplatformed it’s an outrage against free speech. When Elon Musk upholds the same values for other disreputable people, they cheer his site being run down and losing advertisers.

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