Prominent conservatives have found an analogy for the decision by leading social media companies to ban far-right actors and apps from their platforms: Kristallnacht, the violent German pogrom that preceded the Holocaust.
Amazon, Apple and Google have all decided to ban the social media app Parler, which is popular among the far-right, from their platforms, citing the possibility that the app could help incite more violence in the wake of last week’s violent insurrection at the Capitol. And after de-platforming President Trump, Facebook and Twitter have banned right-wing users involved in fomenting the violence.
Steve King, the former Iowa lawmaker who has said the term “white supremacist” isn’t so bad, said he lost thousands of Twitter followers in the crackdown.
“I have lost 8,000 followers on this twitter account in one day. Apple, Google, Facebook, & others have cancelled many conservatives. Last night was cyber god’s Kristallnacht!” he wrote on Twitter.
On Fox News on Monday, commentator Jeanine Pirro made a similar comparison.
“They gave us a taste of this pre-election when they suppressed the Hunter Biden story, and now that they’ve won, what we’re seeing is the kind of censorship that is akin to a Kristallnacht,” she said.
CNN host Jake Tapper, who is Jewish, called Pirro out over the statement.
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“Kristallnacht was an organized pogrom by the Sturmabteilung and Hitler Youth destroying hundreds of synagogues and thousands of Jewish-owned businesses, killing dozens of Jews, and hauling tens of thousands of Jewish men to concentration camps such as Buchenwald,” Tapper tweeted.
Pirro qualified her statement on Monday afternoon, tweeting that it was “in context of books.”
“Although book burning started earlier, Kristallnacht included the destruction of Jewish stores, homes & synagogues containing rare Jewish books & Torahs. My reference was in context of books. The Holocaust was the greatest hate crime the world ever tolerated. I abhor all violence,” she wrote.
Kristallnacht, which translates to “night of broken glass,” was also invoked over the weekend by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went viral on Sunday for a video in which he compared the event to the storming of the Capitol. The former California governor additionally described how many people in his native Austria were tortured after World War II by thoughts of how they had enabled the Nazis.
“Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States,” Schwarzenegger said. “The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol.”