Alex Jones removal from social media platforms of Youtube, iTunes and Facebook continues to expose their real agenda.
Yesterday, I responded to a tweet from Alex Griswold for his bit of short-sightedness with a question.
Hate speech is a vague term championed by the left with no discernible boundaries. It is used frequently to attack political opponent’s ideas in an effort to squelch debate. As an example, liberals respond to “build the wall” as racist and mark your words as “hate speech”. If you choose to make these statements on the social media platforms, you will be reported by the leftist mob. Social media algorithms responding to these reports often have accounts suspended, denying the individual use of the platform due to false statements.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube offer free services for anyone to create and publish own content to promote their brand. Each platform offers some mechanism to monetize what is published. As part of the agreement, whatever you post is free to be shared by others on the platform unless you restrict them by some available means such as blocking or muting.
These platforms also use the content for their revenue generating streams that consist mostly of advertising. All content is categorized which allows the provider to maximize the money they can make as well as control how information is shared with its users. In YouTube’s case, they will even share part of the proceeds if you’re successful at building your followers to their platform.
For years, political speech, including controversial figures have helped to build the reach of these brands with large groups of followers while expanding the scope of the platforms. This was good for everyone.
That is, until the evening of November 8, 2016 when Donald Trump did the unthinkable: He was elected President.
If you hear it from liberals, it was because the Russians used Facebook to influence people not to vote for Hillary using clever memes. Or something. The numbers presented by Facebook for congressional investigators were deemed serious by liberal journalists, but to experts, and non journalists, it was just head scratching. The swing in voters in the various counties flipped from Obama in the blue wall states suggest a very different cause, but because of the media noise it would never make headlines.
Facebook, feeling the egg on its face, the founder Mark Zuckerberg, in his testimony to Congress shared the problem would be solved in two ways. First, it would become a publisher of news, offering news organizations the ability to publish directly on its platform. The second is to employ the services of “accredited fact checkers” to review articles posted by individuals on their truthfulness.
However, when faced with the questions about suppressing content provided by conservative outlets, Zuckerberg was mostly oblivious and responded with terms like “enforcement error” and “no we aren’t singling out conservatives.” There was a benign promise to do better, but so far, evidence suggests there is still quite a ways to go.
Leading up to the election, there was already a concerted effort by Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter towards suppressing conservative political speech under the guise of “hate speech” and “community standards.” To some extent, some of this was manufactured by bots and dedicated trolls meant to abuse the reporting system. In other cases, newly created “AI” systems were put in place with disastrous results.
After the election, the platforms no longer hid conservatives were being targeted not only by the leftist mobs, but the algorithm’s themselves. When presented with evidence as to the scope and frequency, each service responded with the typical non-response but always included this caveat:
“We want people to be informed and safe on our platforms.”
Most people reading “informed” means showing me what I want to see and “safe” means not to be offended so I don’t have to keep reporting.
It’s entirely possible that Infowars and Alex Jones may have incurred suspended content from violations and this was the final straw, but no statement by any of the platforms suggest there was a transparent process followed and verbiage to that effect is not present. The corporate response is that they will continue to enforce their community standards to make the platform safe for everyone. Whatever that means.
All of a sudden, the leftists are now wealthy corporate America proponents:
It’s clear this individual, like most leftists, do not share a desire to learn about history much less history within the past year. The retreat to “Well, it’s hate speech and they can do that” doesn’t explain the arbitrary nature of how a platform that was perfectly fine with Alex Jones helping to expand the platform suddenly decided that everything he publishes is hate speech and therefore should suffer the ultimate punishment. I would understand a few videos or some articles, but the entire channel without a clear explanation of policy?
It is perfectly fine for these companies, which offer their platform for the mutual benefit of the content provider and publisher, to create their own rules and decide how to run it. The free market will react accordingly and perhaps these three will recognize they may have made the wrong choice.
Unless you’re a Democrat Senator from Connecticut:
Democracy depends on silencing speech or just the speech you don’t like? Alex Jones may not be the only one in the sights of the left but Alex Jones appears to be a start:
This all goes back to the nebulous term “hate speech” and “lies”. Google, Facebook, and Apple have by far the largest share of users than their competitors. Information, ideas, and speech are the backbone of their platforms. So what do you think happens when the social media cartel is handed the power to pick which speech falls into categories that violate the terms of service and no longer has visibility to the larger audience the content provider helped to build?
Another way to look at this: Suppose that Antifa or Black Lives Matter were classified as hate groups and made people feel unsafe. What do you suppose the outrage would be from Senator Murphy and his liberal sycophants if the social media platforms removed them? There has been documented evidence of violence perpetuated by both groups along with direct threats to authority and harassing people to make them feel unsafe. They use the social media platforms to coordinate and carry out their violent plans. Or do they get a pass because they happen to be champions of the left which also dominate the political like mindedness within the management of these corporate giants?
I haven’t found an instance of where Alex Jones has called for violent protests to damage the property of business owners, military recruiting offices, or go to cafe’s and harass people who oppose your views. If he did, doesn’t the same rules apply for those liberal groups pursuing the same end?
If information is the key to a flourishing democracy, and the government is precluded from picking winners and losers, how does granting the power to trillion dollar corporate cartel of monopolies make this better? Certainly, civilized discourse is preferred over violence, but there is a distinction between political thought that “may offend some people into irrational behavior” versus actually taking up arms and expressing your views with violence. Next thing you know, some socialist supporter might go to a park and shoot up an Congressional baseball game.. wait..
The latter is happening now with groups aligned with the political left and often sanctioned and encouraged. The former is because snowflakes don’t want to hear opposing views and use the system to suppress free speech. Like Harry Reid calling out the Koch Brothers, liberals have their eyes set on removing conservative voices from the platforms they share and are willing to declare them “unsafe” to influence the arbiters employing “violating community standards” in having them removed. Whoever Zuckerburg picks to make those choices, he has never shared how such a person will review material objectively, just like he’s never shared how his algorithm’s make the same decisions.
Obviously, conservatives could easily build their own platforms in which to share their political messages, just like Alex Jones could do. However, low cost infrastructure where cheap resources can be obtained are controlled by – Google, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft – the cartel that also modified their TOS to include “community standards” and “hate speech.” CNN is already going for the kill:
The dangerous precedent has been set. The media is no longer hiding it is picking sides. The current narrative is that journalists safety is a top priority and expecting casualties. While it may be true that journalists are experiencing threats, it’s interesting to note that the platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have ignored blatant threats to conservatives, including conservative women, on their platform in clear violations of terms of service. I don’t see any reporting on CNN, nor do I see admonishments to violent liberal groups to stop their threatening behavior, but Alex Jones is a clear and present danger that must be eradicated.
And according to a few liberal members of Congress, this is just the start.
Full Disclosure: I have rarely watched Alex Jones. I have listened to some of those employed by Infowars on YouTube channels and articles linked from Twitter or Drudge. I’ve not seen anything that represents the slanted liberal views of racist, bigoted or hate commentary but then again, no one has explained those terms in meanings without political slant. I will say that I’ve seen videos of some of Jones’ more eccentric, or kooky, views but just because they are controversial doesn’t make it “hate speech”. If anything, the constituency should be allowed to decide for themselves and not corporate arbiters influenced by extremists mobs.