Patreon — a popular subscription service company that helps artists and creators run online businesses — reportedly suspended BlazeTV host of "You Are Here" Sydney Watson's account this week over her off-platform "activity," setting a dangerous new precedent in big tech's ongoing censorship of conservative personalities.
In a series of tweets this week, Watson announced that her account had been removed by Patreon due to her violating the platform's community guidelines on "hate speech." Only Watson does not regularly post content on Patreon.
Confused, she reached out to the platform asking why her account was removed. A representative responded to her by email saying, "We take into consideration the content shared on Patreon as well as any activity taking place outside of the platform."
"Any activity" certainly signifies a broad range of speech.
"Asked Patreon why they decided to ban me. They didn't answer," Watson wrote on Twitter. "They note here they take into consideration everything you do outside their platform. This is batshit. This platform can hold your money hostage if they don't agree with what you do everywhere else. Insanity."
In email correspondence between Patreon and Watson shared with Rebel News writer Andrew Chapados, a Patreon representative told Watson, "While we welcome impassioned debate and diverse viewpoints, we don't allow creators to propagate negative stereotypes or segregational content towards a protected community."
It was not immediately clear which content posted by Watson amounted to a violation of Patreon's "hate speech" guidelines.
But the host did make several posts on Twitter and Instagram in recent days criticizing the left's support for the transgender movement and for biological males competing in women's sports.
The debate over sexual orientation — especially as it relates to transgender Department of Health and Human Services official Dr. Rachel Levine's being named as one of USA Today's "Women of the Year" — has given rise to multiple Twitter suspensions in recent days.
While Watson's suspension is only the latest example of an outspoken conservative being censored, it is remarkable in that it sets a broad and dangerous precedent, opening the door for social media platforms to censor individuals for who they are and what they believe, rather than the content they create.
Watson pointed out in another tweet that in the recent past, Patreon has asked creators to delete content on other platforms in order for their accounts to be reinstated.
She included screenshots of correspondence between Patreon and content creator HighImpactFlix, in which the platform demanded that the creator delete "any and all content that advances COVID-19 medical misinformation."
In the correspondence, Patreon claims that since its guidelines "extend to any projects that [are funded] via Patreon," any online content linked to one's creator page is subject to review.
As for Watson, Patreon informed her in an email that it will not be considering reinstatement of her page at this time.