First they came for Alex Jones and his Info Wars and so many stayed silent, including too many on the political right. When the same social media organizations come to silence their next right wing website will so may remain silent, or will it be too late? Once censorship like this begins, there is usually no way to stop it. The same forces that are silencing Alex Jones have been gunning for Drudge and Breitbart for years. I fear that it will not be long before those two, and many others receive the same treatment. The best and only time to resist censorship is immediately, when it begins, and to resist it as forcefully as possible. Everyone should condemn this shameful treatment of Alex Jones and his Info Wars, no matter if you agree with what he has to say or not.
I firmly believe censorship, of any nature, is always wrong. I firmly believe everyone has a right to say whatever they want to say, and everyone has a right to listen to whatever they want to listen to. The most common justification for silencing someone is to label what they have to say as hate speech. What exactly is hate speech. you might be wondering? That question is impossible to answer because the concept is way too subjective. Far too often, any ideas espoused by those on the political right are labeled hate speech by those on the political left, and then those ideas are banned.
This Breitbart Article describes why the silencing of Info Wars happened.
Big tech’s coordinated purge of InfoWars — which was hit by bans from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube in rapid succession — did not occur in a vacuum. On this issue, Silicon Valley bowed to CNN journalists and Democrat politicians who ceaselessly lobbied for the site to be censored.
It’s a sign of how the concentration of power in America has shifted from big government to big tech that politicians are now lobbying tech companies rather than the other way round, but that’s exactly what happened over the course of the past few months, as Democrats applied relentless pressure on Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants to censor InfoWars.
It is unsociable that members of the Democratic Party would lobby for censoring InfoWars, or anyone else. This attack of Alex Jones’ freedom of speech was politically motivated.
As you can see in this article by the AP, cries of hate speech were the justification for this purge.
Major tech companies have begun to ban right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their services, reflecting a more aggressive enforcement of policies against hate speech following protests on social media.
Facebook has taken down four pages belonging to Jones, including two featuring his “InfoWars” show, for violating its hate speech and bullying policies. Over the past several days, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have also removed material published by Jones. Twitter, which hasn’t banned Jones, has also faced similar calls.
Does Alex Jones or InfoWars engage in anything that can reasonably be called hate speech? On this I am no expert. Before this story broke I had never been to InfoWars, or viewed any of his videos. This is only because I already have a dozen or so websites I visit daily for my news and political information. I did not have time for another. Based on what I’ve seen in the past two days, I have not seen any evidence, on just InfoWars, of what could be called hate speech. Even if the site was nothing but “hate speech” I would still decry the silencing of his sites as forcefully as possible.
Brent Bozell of News Busters has similar opinions on this. Here is what he had to say in this article:
I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets….Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like.
Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.
Ben Shapiro, who is no fan of Alex Jones, is quoted in this Daily Wire Article as saying:
Trust in social media is declining nearly as fast as trust in media overall. There’s a reason for that. And it’s not because social media tolerates voices like Jones. It’s because they don’t tolerate voices like Jones while tolerating voices who are just as bad on the political Left – and they show no signs of limiting their censorship to Alex Jones.
Some Democrats are reported to be working on a plan that would very heavily regulate the internet. The main objective of that would be to completely strangle all forms of communication from the political right. Here are the details. Censorship of conservatives by social media is a major problem but government intervention is not the solution. Government intervention will only make this problem far worse, just like government intervention always does. Government intervention is not called for in this case. These companies are private companies. They have every right to run their companies any way they want to, including censoring others. I have every tight to speak out against this censorship, and all censorship, as loudly as I wish to, and I’m imploring others to do so as well.