I’m old enough to remember when David Icke was a television sports presenter. For the past thirty-five years or so he’s been putting his ideas out on how he thinks the world operates – and it’s fair to say he has caused plenty of controversy. Some people laughed at him, some agreed with him, some were indifferent. No one campaigned for him to be banned.
Recently though, that’s changed. Icke has been accused of “preaching hate” and of peddling “unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.” And now he’s charged with promoting “toxic” and “dangerous misinformation” about Covid-19.
Writing in the Observer on April 25, Nick Cohen berated social media platforms for not banning Icke.
Less than 20 minutes after he tweeted his piece, the “mysterious wikipedia editor” Andrew Philip Cross had added the article to Icke’s wiki page.
And, just a week later, both Facebook and YouTube had obliged, deleting Icke and all his work.
Cohen argued there was a “liberal” case for banning Icke. But there isn‘t and it‘s extremely Orwellian to suggest that there is. No one is forced to listen to Icke or read his books. If Cohen takes issue with Icke‘s positions, he should challenge him to a public debate. If what Icke says is so obviously crackers, then the Observer columnist should be able to wipe the floor with him very easily. Instead, he seems to want him silenced. That’s disturbing.