SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Conservative provacateur Milo Yiannopoulos has a warning for Silicon Valley — if you ban white supremacists from the internet, you may actually help increase their popularity.
Yiannopoulos was in the Bay Area over the weekend to promote a week of events he has planned for Berkeley later this fall. His last planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley earlier this year was canceled amid a violent protest that rocked the campus.READ MORE: Growth of Willow Fire Near Big Sur Slows Overnight, Still Zero Percent Contained
In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, several white supremacist internet sites — including the Daily Stormer — have been banished by Google, Facebook, Apple, Go Daddy and other large Silicon Valley digital companies.
“The Daily Stormer was chased off the internet and now has to go to the dark web,” Yiannapolous told KPIX 5. “I don’t want them chased off the internet. I want them where I can see them. I want to know how many of them there are. I want to know what they’re saying.”
“Quite often they’re saying horrible things about me because they hate me and I hate them,” he continued. “I want to have feuds with them, I want to be able to argue with them. I want to beat them in public so that other people can see that they’re wrong.”
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He said in his view when you ban them and drive them underground, you risk making them more attractive.
“You make them sexy, you make them irresistible,” he said. “It’s the same human psychology as Madonna’s videos being banned in the 1990s. They were the only ones people wanted to see. And when you make my book difficult to publish … you make people want to read it – with the result there’s four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.”
“Just by virtue of banning them you make them curious, you make them interesting,” he continued. “You make people want to find out more about them and the technology platforms that have traded for so long on being neutral platforms are now starting to make very heavily editorial decisions.”READ MORE: UPDATE: 1 Dead, 6 Wounded in Saturday Evening Shooting at Oakland's Lake Merritt
Yiannopoulos said recent highly publicized decisions by Google and others have given the public a look at the inside thinking in those companies.
“We’re starting to find out what these companies believe in and it turns out that their beliefs don’t stop with the far right, with the ugly people that we all hate,” he said. “Their beliefs stop quite short of that.”
Yiannopoulos warned the companies that they actually could begin to ‘alienate’ the main stream.
“They’re going to find that they alienate not just the people that they think they’re alienating, which is this lunatic tiny fringe of crazies, they’re gonna find actually that they alienate most of the country,” he said. “Actually most liberals believe in free speech … Most liberals are perfectly happy to allow you to present your arguments even if they don’t feel like responding to them – it’s just a tiny minority (that wants those views blocked ) but that tiny minority runs rampant in Silicon Valley.”
Yiannopoulos also pointed to the recent firing of Google engineer James Damore.
Damore wrote a document titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” on an internal online discussion group. His memo pointed out all the ways Google has gone wrong in making gender representation among its employees a corporate priority.
“Silicon Valley got really embarrassed and busted by this memo this James guy posted,” he said. “He wasn’t even advocating for a political position – the guy’s a libertarian. But just for pointing at some studies he was fired because there are certain subjects that just cannot be discussed at Google – but this is the company the provides our email and our search results. That’s horrifying.”MORE NEWS: San Francisco Police Arrest Suspect In String Of Brazen Mission District Pharmacy Retail Thefts