Alex Jones isn’t high on my watch list. He’s never been somebody I would quote in one of my articles to help me make a point, he’s not somebody I’ve ever taken seriously. (He is, however, somebody I would probably watch while drunk, stoned or depressed and in need of a laugh, but that’s about it).
But as somebody who values free speech and sees freedom as the cornerstone of Western culture, and what makes the West the best place to live in the world, I can’t see what’s happening to him as anything other than alarming. For those who haven’t heard yet, Jones has been permanently banned from YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify.
According to these companies, he’s been de-platformed for ‘hate speech’ (something the Supreme Court doesn’t recognize) and for ‘glorifying violence.’ Yet Maxine Waters is still hailed as ‘auntie Maxine,’ while she praises the LA Riots, where more than sixty people were killed, and encourages the harassment of members of the Trump administration?
Some reports are that he was deplatformed because of his harassment of the parents of children who were killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. While that would be a more acceptable reason for his censorship, since harassment is a criminal charge, that’s not exactly what reps from these companies are saying in their public statements. Apple’s statement, for instance, was –
Apple does not tolerate hate speech… We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
And Facebook said –
We have taken… down [Info Wars] for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanising language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.
The precedent these websites are setting right now by requiring individuals who use them to conform to their notions of ‘hate speech’ is that you are not allowed to be on one of the major platforms unless you agree with their personal views. If these sites are really concerned with ‘glorifying violence,’ then cancel Maxine Waters’ online presence as well. Delete pictures of people wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. Take down references to the Black Panthers. It’s plain to see they were looking for an excuse to get rid of him, and are holding Jones to a standard they are not holding people on the left to as well.
You see speech that you don’t like? Don’t blame free speech policies for ideas you don’t like. Instead, join the conversation with your own, better ideas.
Alex Jones makes up ridiculous stuff, bullies people who don’t deserve it, and doesn’t make a lot of sense. I knew that as soon as the staff of various social media sites started cracking down on content creators, he’d be the first to go, and one of the least missed. But this is a dangerous move nonetheless. The boulder’s been pushed and now that it’s rolling down the hill, who knows how many others are going to be taken out along with it.
-Senior Editor A.
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