It looks like Alex Jones is saying things that the people who control social media sites do not want out in the public realm. Facebook, Apple, and Twitter have all decided that for the good of the online community, the majority of his content must not appear on their platforms. Ben Shapiro, no fan of Jones or his content, discusses this effort in a Daily Wire piece on Monday.
On Monday, Apple, Facebook, and YouTube all decided, in apparently coordinated fashion, to remove content from Infowars, the dumpster fire conspiracy outlet run by famed nut case Alex Jones. Jones, you’ll recall, is the same fellow who suggested that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a “false flag,” promoted Pizzagate, and likes to rant about gay frogs. …
The social media companies used a variety of policies to crack down on Jones. Apple removed five out of six of Jones’ podcast streams, including The Alex Jones Show. Facebook and Google did the same, with Facebook dumping four pages controlled by Jones, and Google removing the Alex Jones Channel.
So, Jones’s material is not completely gone, but the people controlling content have decided what can stay and what can go.
So much for free speech, if it doesn’t fit the narrative which Alex Jones certainly doesn’t. Not that free speech on a privately owned board is really required. However, Shapiro points out what allows the platforms such wide latitude in deciding what can stay and what has to go.
It’s a problem because these policies are extraordinarily vague. These policies aren’t merely designed to crack down on speech openly advocating or threatening violence, or containing obscenity. These policies are deliberately unclear as well as political.
What, for example, constitutes “hate speech”? Much of what Jones and his employees say is absolutely rotten pig excrement, but there’s no definition of hate speech that has a limiting principle. Is it “using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender” to state that transgender people suffer from a mental disorder? Or that they are not in fact members of the gender to which they claim membership? What constitutes “hate speech” when discussing the relationship between radical Islam and terrorism? None of this has been made clear.
Furthermore, it won’t be made clear, because the political Left has no clear standards. So, for example, social media companies like Twitter will “accidentally” suspend Candace Owens, a black woman, for simply substituting the words “blacks” and “Jews” for “whites” in Sarah Jeong tweets to demonstrate the double standard in the media; Jeong, however, retains her elevated position at The New York Times. The same Left that says people of color are incapable of racism says that it will suspend people for “hate speech.” How exactly are we supposed to trust in free and open debate when those setting the limits are openly setting them up with embedded double-standards?
All very good questions that are being asked on all sorts of discussion boards. There is no one set of standards for free speech, hate speech, or even prejudice. There are two, and conservatives are on the losing end of getting points across when accounts are suspended without any thought to the actual content save individual words. Alex Jones is one of many caught in this trap.