Mike Baron is considered a legend in the nerd world of comic books. He’s earned the equivalent of two Pulitzers for his work, the coveted Eisner Award, and his comics, such as Badger and Nexus, have gained him a legion of loyal followers.
But Baron had the gall to create a pro-cop comic, and for that, he must be punished.
Despite breaking no clearly-defined platform rules, Baron has been demonetized on Facebook, and all posts regarding his “Thin Blue Line” comic have been blocked on Reddit’s “r/comics” subreddit, the largest comic book social media page on the planet.
“It’s yet more of the now endemic banning and shadow-banning of non-leftist content across all major Internet platforms,” wrote author Peter Pischke for The Federalist. “Conservatives are often still treated as second-tier users at best, blocked on social media, shamed in online communities, only to be occasionally tolerated but never welcomed.”
(Video: Fox News)
Because he dared to paint police officers as superheroes, Baron was labeled as “right-wing” and shunned by traditional comic book publishers. He turned instead to IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to bring his project to fruition–a strategy, Pischke notes, that many comic creators are now using to outsell mainstream comics.
“Thin Blue Line” was born out of Baron’s reaction to the 2020 riots that burned some U.S. neighborhoods to the ground.
In a November 2021 interview in The Federalist, also written by Pischke, Baron stated: “You would see the same thing on channel after channel; city in flames, looters running in and out. Some idiot addressing the camera upfront saying, ‘These mostly peaceful protests are for a righteous cause.’ And you see politician after politician: ‘We must defund the police.'”
“Since they declared war on the police, homicides are up 100 percent in every blue city,” Baron continued. “Rapes, robberies are up over 100 percent in every one of those cities that attacked their own police department.”
The comic follows two police officers as they try to make it through a night in one such city.
But Facebook has deemed the subject a “social issue” and has denied, multiple times, Baron’s applications for Facebook ads to promote his funding efforts.
According to the official Facebook policy for social issues:
“Advertisers can run ads about social issues, elections or politics, provided the advertiser complies with all applicable laws and the authorization process required by Facebook. Where appropriate, Facebook may restrict issue, electoral or political ads.”
It’s a word salad and, as Pischke notes, it “allows Facebook to basically ban whatever social issue ad it wants.”
“Part of the irony in all of this is that there are many Facebook pages with much more sketchy content,” Pischke writes, “like the company Toomics, which routinely gets away with promoting links to pornographic content.”
“Do they have to worry about getting in trouble for posting about ‘social issues’ too?” Pischke asked.
Reddit, too, is blocking Baron from publishing anything about his comic. Posts containing links to information, including Pischke’s interview with Baron in The Federalist, are removed by moderators for “misinformation and racism.”
Pischke took to Twitter to get the word out.
The largest #comics social media page on the net,
r/comics on Reddit banned @BloodyRedBaron & his new pro-cop superhero comic for racism & misinformation,
They also banned the @FDRLST citing my article for Baron's ban
— Peter Pischke-Friendly Neighborhood Journo (@HappyWarriorP) January 28, 2022
“Baron isn’t a racist,” Pischke wrote. “He is married to a lovely Korean woman; the story’s protagonist is a Hispanic woman with a black partner. But to ‘moderators,’ it doesn’t matter that the creator is a legend, famous for his run on ‘Punisher,’ ‘Flash,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Star Wars,’ and more, nor that the article is unobjectionable. The actual content is irrelevant.”
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