As you may have heard, Alex Jones and Inforwars are under siege from ‘Big Tech’, that is both major social media giants and tech companies like Apple and Spotify:
Facebook and Spotify on Monday joined Apple in purging content created by nutjob conspiracy theorist Alex Jones off their platforms — condemning the InfoWars creator’s ravings as hate speech.
Facebook said in a statement Monday that it had “unpublished” the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the InfoWars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page.
“We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions,” the social media giant said in a statement.
“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming.”
The company said Monday that more content from the pages had since been reported, and it had decided to remove them for “repeated violations of community standards and accumulating too many strikes.”
“Upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence … and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies,” said Facebook.
But the company also said the page administrators would be able to appeal its decision.
Spotify also sanctioned Jones on Monday, removing every episode of his podcast “The Alex Jones Show” from its platform.
“We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community,” a Spotify spokesman told the Guardian.
“Due to repeated violations of Spotify’s prohibited content policies, ‘The Alex Jones Show’ has lost access to the Spotify platform.”
A day earlier, Apple removed five InfoWars podcasts from iTunes and its podcast app.
“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,” Apple said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
“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.”
Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center has come out in defense of Alex Jones, despite his aversion to the kind of conspiracy content Jones produces:
Ben Shapiro has also come out against this:
First, the caveats: these are all private companies, and their termination of Jones’ accounts isn’t a legal violation of the First Amendment.
But it is a problem. 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.
He goes on to question their definition of ‘hate speech’, wondering what exactly constitutes “dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants”. They don’t explain these things at all.
He also questions the apparent liberal double standards all over the place, from Jeong still keeping her NY Times’ job to Candace Owens being suspended over the weekend for merely retweeting Jeong’s tweets and substituting in other races.
His point being…
“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? The answer is, we don’t. 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.”
As you know I’ve never been a fan of Alex Jones either. From the day I first saw him harassing Michelle Malkin in a video years ago, I’ve never liked him. And to be fair, I don’t keep up with his shows nor do I know exactly how far they go with some of the nutty stuff they produce.
But when you’ve got people like Brent Bozell and Ben Shapiro coming out to defend Alex Jones, I think it’s fair to say that he’s probably triggering the left more than he is spewing actual hate speech.
The big concern with allowing Big Tech to crush Alex Jones this way is ‘who will be next’? Will Christians become a target for saying that homosexuality is unnatural and a sin against God, or for saying transgenderism is a mental disorder and that we should oppose the normalization of both homosexuality and transgenderism? It’s already ‘illegal’ in some quarters for Christians in business to refuse participation in gay weddings by baking a gay cake.
Yes, I do think that day is coming when censoring Christians or conservatives with Christian values becomes the norm, which is why we must resist for as long as we can. And I’m afraid that means standing with the likes of Alex Jones.