In what now looks like a coordinated strike between three different companies, Facebook, Apple, and YouTube have removed all content from the controversial conservative radio host Alex Jones and his website Infowars.com.
News first broke on Monday that Apple had removed all of Jones’s podcasts from their podcast directory. Within a matter of hours, YouTube and Facebook had followed suit, with YouTube removing all of Jones’s videos from their platform and Facebook banning Jones’s profile.
To defend their actions, each of these companies released statements detailing how Alex Jones had violated their terms of service by encouraging violence and spreading hate speech, citing his claim that the Sandy Hook victims were crisis actors – a claim that led the parents of the victims to receive a flood of hate messages and death threats – as well as several other controversial statements and claims that Jones has made over the years.
Before we dive into the problem that this type of censorship creates, it’s important to understand that these companies banning Jones from their platform is not a violation of free speech. If you own a platform, you are free to pick choose which people get to use your platform and which ones don’t. However, while this type of censorship may not be a violation of free speech, it is a very serious danger to free speech.
We live in a world where just a handful of companies completely control the content that a majority of Americans see each day. Between Facebook, Apple, and Google (which owns YouTube) alone, these liberal companies have created a stranglehold on the internet, gaining almost complete control over the greatest source of information that the world has ever known.
Regardless of whether or not you like Alex Jones or agree with what he says, you have to recognize the fact that these companies hold a dangerous power, and by banning Alex Jones they have shown that they are willing to use it.
Today, it might just be the most controversial conservatives who are censored from the platform. Tomorrow, though, every conservative voice may be censored. When you don’t stand up for the free speech of others regardless of how you feel about what they say, your own freedom of speech may be the next to go.
The actions of these companies are made all the worse when you consider the complete double standard that they demonstrate. Take, for example, the ANTIFA groups that are allowed to keep their Facebook pages in spite of the fact that they are far more guilty of encouraging violence than Alex Jones has ever been. Or consider the latest New York Times journalist who openly discusses her hatred for white people on Twitter. She deals in hate speech much more openly than Jones, yet you can rest assured that she will lose neither her job nor her Twitter profile anytime soon.
The reality is that the standard these companies use to gauge whether or not something is hate speech is completely ambiguous and highly political. Those on the left are given far more room to say what they please and must say something that is especially harmful or hateful before they ever draw the attention of the platform they are using.
Those on the right, meanwhile, are forced to walk a very thin line. Say the wrong thing, use the wrong words, or go after the wrong person and the almighty hand of your social media overlords will come down swift and unmerciful.
Here at American Liberty Report, we’ve seen first-hand the dangers of liberal censorship. Already, Google is censoring our content by not delivering it to the Gmail addresses of our subscribers. How long will it be before we are no longer able to share our content on Facebook? How long will it be before our website and other conservative websites do not show up in Google search results at all?
The reality that a handful of liberal companies have the power to control most of what America sees, hears, and reads is deeply troubling yet largely unavoidable at this point. However, if we let them get away with using that power, they may very well use it to destroy conservatism as we know it. Alex Jones may be the first casualty, but if we do not stand up to the dangers of censorship he will not be the last.
~ American Liberty Report