Several big tech firms have taken their hardest anti-free speech stances yet by removing and banning content from right-wing talk show host Alex Jones and his company InfoWars.
Companies that have either removed content or banned accounts belonging to Jones altogether include Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple. In a series of similar statements, the companies have cited “hate speech” violations as the cause for termination. Jones contends that his content is not hateful in nature, and that there is a coordinated effort by these companies to silence his messages.
“We’ve seen a giant yellow journalism campaign with thousands and thousands of articles for weeks, for months misrepresenting what I’ve said and done to set the precedent to de-platform me before Big Tech and the Democratic Party as well as some Republican establishment types move against the First Amendment in this country as we know it,” Jones told the Washington Post.
Apple was the first of these firms to take these, measures, with YouTube and Facebook quickly following suit. Jones’ YouTube channel had over 2 million subscribers. InfoWars did not have any formal representation on Apple, but users were able to subscribe to its content through its platform.
“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” the company said in a statement to several press outlets. “Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”
Alex Jones has been a controversial figure in American political discourse for many years. He has frequently argued that there exists a “globalist” conspiracy against human liberty supported by major governments, international corporations, and leftist institutions. His show is popular with libertarian-leaning conservatives. In the run up to the 2016 presidential election, Jones was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy.
While conservatives are definitely divided on Jones’ content, which has included “false flag” accusations for several mass shootings, this move by Big Tech to silence his content should be deeply disturbing. While they are attacking a voice considered to be on the fringe now, these social media companies have now established a precedent that could be used to attack more mainstream voices.
It is imperative that Americans of every political bend stand against this. It’s also past time for lawmakers to determine weather or not these companies are publishers or platforms — two very important legal distinctions. While publishers are free to silence or promote whomever they wish, platforms are considered to be more free form. At this point, it looks like the line between these two things is becoming blurred. This is not good for national discourse or our constitutional rights.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter