Alex Jones was deplatformed on at least four major social media platforms in a day: Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify.
The Guardian reports:
All but one of the major content platforms have banned the American conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as the companies raced to act in the wake of Apple’s decision to remove five podcasts by Jones and his Infowars website.
Facebook unpublished four pages run by Jones for “repeated violations of community standards”, the company said on Monday. YouTube terminated Jones’s account over him repeatedly appearing in videos despite being subject to a 90-day ban from the website, and Spotify removed the entirety of one of Jones’s podcasts for “hate content”….
Facebook’s and YouTube’s enforcement action against Jones came hours after Apple removed Jones from its podcast directory. The timing of Facebook’s announcement was unusual, with the company confirming the ban at 3am local time.
Twitter hasn’t taken down Jones yet. How odd that Twitter, with its demonstrable shadow banning and Twitter Gulag for conservatives, has not capitulated yet.
The takedowns did not just happen.
The media pushed these social media giants to this result, as a Senior Media Reporter for CNN bragged on Twitter and in interviews:
Joined @richardquest to talk tech companies taking action against Alex Jones & InfoWars. It's notable these companies are citing hate speech violations when removing Jones' content, not spread of misinformation. Also notable tech giants only took action after media firestorm. pic.twitter.com/bcMHPvRPuX
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 6, 2018
Important to note that tech platforms did not enforce their own rules and take action against Alex Jones / InfoWars on their own accord.
It took media outlets to point out for weeks that InfoWars was skirting the rules on these tech platforms for them to enforce own standards.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 6, 2018
Not content, CNN was pushing for Jones APP to be shut down by Google and Apple. Of course, CNN doesn’t say it that way, it just runs stories wondering why the APP hasn’t been shut down. Not very subtle.
The targeted takedown of Jones was strategic.
Few people want to defend the substance of his content. So CNN gets to wrap itself in self-righteousness, even though it was an act by CNN of political activism.
And yes, these are private companies who can do what the government cannot. We understand that. But they have taken on a role approaching public utilities, without whom we can’t communicate politically.
This is something we’ve covered a lot in the past year, how an oligopoly of left-leaning high tech firms control virtually all of our social media interactions. In my dreadful 9th Anniversary post, I wrote:
If the assault on the Electoral College was the game changer for me, a runner up was waking up to implications of the concentration of power in a small number of social media and internet companies who have been weaponized to shut down speech and expression. Google, Facebook, Twitter and two handfuls of other companies now completely control our ability to communicate with each other, while internet backbone companies are poised to block internet access altogether.
Imagine living in a repressive country in which the government blocked access to and suppressed internet content. You don’t need to move. It’s coming here but from private industry. This is, in many ways, more dangerous than government suppression of free speech because at least in the U.S. the government is subject to the First Amendment, and can be voted out of office.
The social justice warriors have moved from shouting down speakers on campus to pressuring high tech companies to expand the definition of “hate speech” and “community standards” to the point that anything right of center is at risk.
It’s no surprise then that Prager U, a completely mainstream conservative educational group, has been fighting a running battle with YouTube over restrictions on its popular videos.
The problem is not limited to social media. There were attempts after the Parkland shooting to deplatform NRA TV:
It should surprise no one that what starts with an attack on 2nd Amendment rights quickly moved to an attack on free speech via the handful of internet oligopolies. Leftists have identified a weak point — private entities are not constrained by the 1st Amendment the way the government is, but they perform on the internet quasi-governmental functions over internet infrastructure and access….
If you think the attacks on the NRA are only about the 2nd Amendment, then you haven’t been paying attention. These people are totalitarian in nature, and that nature is on full display.
These social justice censors start with neo-Nazis, then define everyone who opposes them as the equivalent of neo-Nazis. So they move on to Alex Jones, then the NRA, and won’t stop until mainstream conservatives are banned.
Yet lunatic leftist #Resistance conspiracies proliferate on these same social media platforms without hindrance.
One of the best comments I saw about the Jones takedown was from David Reaboi on Twitter:
When the only thing you’ve got to say about the deplatforming of Jones is, “it’s a private business”—for conservatives, it’s a tell.
It means you don’t see the larger fight about deplatforming and Left’s “hate speech” restrictions to expression. You don’t know what time it is.
That is spot on. There is a war being fought for the turf controlled by the big tech social media oligopolies, and when the openness of these forums is lost, we’re back to the equivalent of Samizdat.
The second best comment I saw was from John Haywood on Twitter:
Left-wing activists are not afraid of establishing non-governmental guild controls that would effectively ban “fake news,” “hate speech,” “dangerous ideas,” etc. because they are confident they will define those terms. The sword of New Censorship is not double edged.
Spot on as well. The new censorship is welcomed in big tech as it is on campus. Because the leftist censors get to define the terms.
This battle is not about Alex Jones. Anyone who thinks it is, hasn’t been paying attention.DONATE
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