Outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent claims that he has been "banished" from Facebook.
The 74-year-old musician, who has in the past used the Big Tech platforms to stoke conspiracy theories about the 2020 U.S. presidential election and the coronavirus pandemic, announced his Facebook ban in an Instagram video earlier today.
Ted told his 554,000 Instagram followers: "I've been censored, banished from Facebook. You know why? 'Cause the Nazis don't like my Schindler's list. Good over evil. Stand up for what you believe in. You are, I am the great white buffalo. We look for storms. Let's get it on."
A message accompanying the video read: "Ted has been kicked off Facebook!! We will continue on Instagram and X!"
Nugent, who has repeatedly railed against large social-media companies that block users from their platforms, is an ardent supporter of former U.S. president Donald Trump. Trump was famously suspended from his social accounts in January 2021 over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riot.
The conservative rocker has repeatedly voiced his unsubstantiated accusations that tech companies are censoring his speech, including during a September 2022 edition of "The Nightly Nuge". Responding to co-host Keith Mark's claim that Meta chief product officer Chris Cox "on behalf of Facebook admitted" in a recent hearing "that there was collusion to thwart the First Amendment rights of a lot of Americans, but he justified it because it was for a greater good," Nugent said: "Well, that's right out of the communist playbook and straight out of rules for radicals by Saul Alinsky, where they can cripple truth, logic and common sense and freedom and life, liberty and pursuit of happiness by censoring people who fight for, exercise and preach truth, logic and common sense. When you censor a segment of society who is about God, family, country, Constitution, Bill Of Rights, being the best that you can be… But that's really not what the First Amendment protects; the First Amendment, it was proven in the Hustler magazine thing [Editor's note: The U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously in 1988 to overturn a $200,000 judgment awarded to the Rev. Jerry Falwell for his emotional distress at having been parodied in Hustler, a pornographic magazine.], the court system, the First Amendment is about protecting the most offensive speech, the most unfriendly speech, the most uncommon speech."
"So, finally the truth came out that they're admitting they're censoring and denying First Amendment rights, which I think is against the law," Ted continued. "The U.S. Constitution is the foundation of our law.
"I'm telling you, this is a pivotal moment.
"When I first started out on Facebook years ago — I don't think they really knew enough about Ted Nugent yet — because during the late, late… well, I guess it was in the 2000s, I had between 25 million and 36 million reach on Facebook," Nugent added. "And then the Big Tech America haters finally figured out that I was a truth, logic and common sense guy. So I went from 36 million to 3.6 million overnight. And now even with 3.6 million on Facebook, they reduce it to 15 — not 15 million, not 15 hundred; 15. Sometimes I'll make a statement that is irrefutably true, and they'll censor it and suppress it down to a couple of dozen people.
"So Big Tech, here's a word from good families of America, Big Tech. You people suck. Your fact checkers are psychopathic liars. Your fact checking is dishonest and it's against the law and it's against the First Amendment and it trounces freedom of speech. Shame on you idiots at Facebook and Big Tech. You are bad, bad people, because when you suppress freedom of speech, you're anti-human, you're anti-American, you are a voice and a power of communism. 'For the greater good.' And Big Tech hates the Constitution. I think those that are involved in the power of Big Tech, I think they look at the Constitution as toilet paper. I think we should look at them as toilet paper."
In the past, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook had suspended or removed the accounts of prominent conservatives who have violated their terms of service.
Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat following the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot that he was accused of inciting, adding to claims that conservatives are being unfairly treated. Twitter, along with Facebook and Instagram, pointed to their terms of service, which prohibit inciting violence on their platforms.
Defenders of the technology industry have repeatedly said that private companies cannot be forced to host speech they don't agree with. They also argue that private owners should be able to do as they please with their own property. In addition, they note that social media companies can only decide what speech they host and present. Those unsatisfied with their choices can choose to read or contribute elsewhere.
Earlier last year, Trump launched Truth Social, the Twitter alternative. Trump has since used the platform to post, including spreading further misinformation, such as the ongoing false claim that Joe Biden's 2020 election win was fraudulent.
Trump had consistently attacked the media throughout his presidency and called the press the "enemy of the people." He also regularly accused reporters of spreading "fake news" — his term for stories he dislikes. In addition, he has assailed the news media at rallies and even at more formal presidential events, encouraging his audiences to chant "CNN sucks!"
In January 2022, Nugent once again repeated the baseless conspiracy theory that the riot at the U.S. Capitol was orchestrated by undercover FBI agents, Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
Nugent, who has refused to take the vaccine, has falsely claimed that public health measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic violate the Nuremberg code, a set of medical experimentation guidelines set after World War Two, as the vaccine is "experimental."
In the past, Nugent, who battled COVID-19 in April 2021, had referred to the virus as a "leftist scam to destroy" Trump. He had also repeated a narrative pushed by conservative media and disputed by health experts that suggests the official death count from the coronavirus is inflated.