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    The Big Tech censorship storm has landed

    The Big Tech censorship storm has landed

    This battle is not about Alex Jones. Anyone who thinks it is, hasn’t been paying attention.

    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    Facebook unpublished four pages run by Jones for “repeated violations of community standards”, the company said on Monday.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:

    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.


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    Ragspierre | August 8, 2018 at 9:44 am

    We allowed them to change the subject from Candace Owens pulling off perhaps the most brilliant tactical stunt from the Right I’ve seen in my career to now locking arms with a fraud most of us wouldn’t voluntarily grant a platform to, either. All because we let the Left bait us into its premise once again. We are now defending Jones’ indefensibility to defend ourselves, at the same contradicting our own arguments in support of Christian bakers and florists, and now a sizable chunk of us are even for the authoritarian government we’ve long fought from the Left, provided Trump does it.

    My prayer is that if I hang around this movement long enough, we might actually figure out how we get cornered into responding to the Left’s false choices like this all the time. That prayer remains unanswered.

    Some excellent points there…

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | August 8, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Public corporations are not private.

    DouglasJBender | August 8, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Not that long ago, someone claiming that there was a “Deep State” effectively encompassing all the major U.S. intelligence agencies and much of the U.S. government, and claiming that said agencies colluded amongst themselves to defraud the American people of their preferred choice for President via coordinated lies and abuse of government rules and systems, would have been excoriated as a “conspiracy nut”.

    The type of speech whether hate or free expression, is not the issue – it’s acts/actions taken in the name of said speech that’s the issue for libs. The standard being whether or not said speech triggers a liberal, or motivates someone to act contrary to liberal ideals. It really comes down to the silly notion of “don’t give ’em any ideas.”

    I wish instead of hiding their motives behind nebulous standards of conduct, they had to publish something like an impact assessment; i.e., “Alex Jones content promotes … which incites … and thereby harms community …”, etc.

    But then of course that would make it easy for conservatives to fight back by exposing liberals many double-standards (‘do as I say, not as I do’).

      Valerie in reply to MrE. | August 8, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      For me, the lack of quotes in the Washington Post article carried by my local paper was a dead giveaway. The headline for the article included the words “hate speech,” but included nothing about any such speech.

      That kind of echoing lack in a news article is a sure indicator that the real objection was to political speech, which is of course the protected variety.

        MrE in reply to Valerie. | August 8, 2018 at 11:24 pm

        Valerie, you’ve sparked a curiosity for me – specifically, when a local paper runs an article from a larger paper or the AP, do they run with the original (same) title, or does the editor generate a new one tailored to their demographic / political slant? Lord knows I’ve observed CNN tweaking headlines to make them more sensational / incendiary, etc. But I’ve always viewed their stuff as original / in house where they could edit on the fly, headlines included. I’ve never specifically looked at AP / WaPo articles for content / headline tweakage by re-print publications.

          Milhouse in reply to MrE. | August 9, 2018 at 2:22 am

          Headlines are always supplied by the publication, not the original source. Even for in-house pieces, the headline is not supplied by the writer but by a copy editor, who has not always bothered to actually read the piece first.

          Valerie in reply to MrE. | August 9, 2018 at 11:03 am

          Sometimes they change the headlines, mostly not. Sometimes the paper of origin changes the headlines.

          I don’t know why you view CNN stories as original with them. Much of their political reporting shows up first in the Washington Post or the New York Times, and yes, they frequently tart it up. I see no principled difference between CNN and Alex Jones, although I haven’t heard of Alex Jones doxxing any private citizens or encouraging violence against American voters.

            MrE in reply to Valerie. | August 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm

            Thanks. About CNN, I’m probably blurring the lines between CNN the channel and CNN the web site. I never watch CNN, or look at their site other than to check headlines to satisfy my curiosity of “what Trump hate do they have today?” That I am at all familiar with CNN has to do with my elderly father, who lived with me for several years and watched CNN 8 hours a day until he died. It took 6 mos. just to train him to turn it off when I came into his room to talk. That elder care is so exhausting, my political intake has been more or less limited to LI, NR, Hotair, Reason.

    I had not heard of Alex Jones before this post. I read up on him a bit after this post and doesn’t all this just prove that he is correct? That there IS a big conspiracy against Conservatives?

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