Are we now trusting massive, unaccountable corporations, to decide on our behalf what we may listen to and talk about?
This is the take-home message, the terrible take-home message, of the expulsion of Alex Jones’ Infowars network from Apple,
Facebook and Spotify and of the wild whoops of delight that this summary banning generated among so-called liberals:
that people are now okay with allowing global capitalism to govern the public sphere and to decree what is sayable and
what is unsayable. Corporate censorship, liberals’ new favourite thing – how bizarre.
We live in strange times. On one hand it is fashionable to hate capitalism these days.
No middle-class home is complete without a Naomi Klein tome; making memes of Marx is every
twentysomething Corbynistas’ favourite pastime. But on the other hand we seem content to trust Silicon Valley,
the new frontier in corporate power, to make moral judgements about what kind of content people
should be able to see online. Radicals and liberals declared themselves ‘very glad’ that these
business elites enforced censorship against Jones and Infowars. We should be ‘celebrating the move’,
said Vox, because ‘it represents a crucial step forward in the fight against fake news’.
Liberals for capitalist censorship! The world just got that bit odder, and less free.
Over the past 24 hours, Jones and much of his Infowars channel has been ‘summarily banned’ – in
the excitable words of Vox – from Apple, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube. Initially, Facebook and
YouTube had taken only selective measures against Jones. In response to a Twitterstorm about his
presence on these platforms, they took down some of his videos. But then Apple decided to ban
Jones entirely – removing all episodes of his podcast from its platform – and the other online giants
followed suit. Or as the thrilled liberal commentary put it: ‘The dominoes started to fall.’ Despite having
millions of subscribers, despite there being a public interest in what he has to say, Jones has been
cast out of the world of social media, which is essentially the public square of the 21st century,
on the basis that what he says is wicked.
This is censorship. There will of course be apologists for the corporate control of speech,
on both the left and right, who will say, ‘It’s only censorship when the government does it!’.
They are so wrong. When enormous companies that have arguably become the facilitators of
public debate expel someone and his ideas because they find them morally repugnant, that is
censorship. Powerful people have deprived an individual and his network of a key space in
which they might propagate their beliefs. Aka censorship.
It doesn’t matter what you think of Jones. It doesn’t matter if you think he is mad, eccentric,
and given to embracing crackpot theories about school shootings being faked. You should
still be worried about what has happened to him because it confirms we have moved into a
new era of outsourced censorship. It shows that what was once done by the state is now
done by corporations. The illiberal, intolerant cleansing from public life of ideas judged
to be offensive or dangerous has shifted from being the state’s thing to being the business
elite’s thing. Witness how many campaigners for censorship now seek to marshal capitalist
power to the end of erasing voices they don’t like – from the Dump Farage campaign that
wants corporations to withdraw their advertising from LBC until it dumps Nigel Farage as a
presenter to the calling on Silicon Valley to deprive the oxygen of publicity to offensive broadcasters.
In essence, so-called liberals and sections of the political class now want corporations
to do their dirty work for them. They want the capitalist elites to do what it has become
somewhat unfashionable for the state to do: ban controversial political speech. What an
extraordinary folly this is. To empower global capitalism to act as judge, jury and executioner
on what may be said on social-media platforms, in the new public square, is to sign the
death warrant of freedom of speech. What if these bosses decide next that Marxist
speech is unacceptable? Or that Zionist speech is dangerous? In green-lighting the
censorship of Jones, we grant corporate suits the moral authority to censor pretty
much anything else, too.
People on both the liberal left and the libertarian right argue that what has been done to
Jones is acceptable because this is simply a case of businesses deciding freely who they
should associate with or provide platforms to. This is disingenuous. This was not a clean,
independent business decision – it was a rash act of silencing carried out under pressure
from a moralised mob that insisted Jones’ words are too wicked for public life. This isn’t
the free market in action – it’s the bending of capitalist power to the end of enforcing
moral controls on speech. There is one very interesting thing that will spring from this
incident: we will witness the severe limitations of right-wing libertarianism. Libertarians’
obsession with the state, their belief that things are only bad if the state does them,
means they are incapable of arguing against capitalist authoritarianism, and in fact
even support it on the basis that this is the free market being the free market (even
though it isn’t). Libertarianism is devastatingly ill-prepared for the new authoritarianism,
for tackling the rise of outsourced censorship and informal intolerance.
For good or ill, the social-media sphere is the new public sphere. The expulsion of people
from these platforms is to 2018 what a state ban on the publication or sale of certain
books was to 1618. How can we convince the owners of social media to permit the
freest speech possible and to trust their users to negotiate the world of ideas for
themselves? This is the question we should be asking ourselves, rather than
concocting more ways to encourage these corporate overlords to censor and blacklist.
Most of the above is from an excellent
opinion piece by Brendan O’NEILL. I think he makes a lot of very astute points but the situation is
even worse than his description because all of these tech companies are run by the illuminati NWO. They are not just banning speech as part of their
own bias as big corprorations; they are banning free speech as part of an Illuminati World plan to
brainwash the world in illuminati propaganda. A plan that includes Reuters and the AP. It's a plan
to keep people ignorant and stupid while they sell people on propaganda and lies.
These big internet companies are all controlled by the illuminati. The internet began as a place that was completely free. Anyone could post whatever
they wanted to online. As people moved to smaller subsections of the internet like Facebook and Twitter the common public sphere of the
internet narrowed and became contained and Brendan observes above.
Now that the illuminati has walled off free speech in America to these social media platforms, they are starting to limit what
kind of speech is permissable. Like Brendan O’NEILL writes, we are losing a viable public sphere which is counter to the spirit of the
Constitution and Jeffersonian Democracy.
The big illuminati tech companies have shown their power with a united shut out of Alex Jones from Social Media; they have demonstrated
they can kick off a spokesperson for a large audiene with no consequences. There was little public outcry and no one in the government
is advocating for Alex Jones' rights on social media.
Not only does this silence Alex Jones speech, it sends a message to all other people who have alternative viewpoints that they
too can be shut out of the conversation whenever the illuminati wants. The attack on Jones' free speech sends a chilling
message throughout America. It is an attack on our Constiution that has gone unresponded to. The lack of affront from politicians
about this indicates how weak our government is in unpholding our Constitutional rights. The illuminati controls them all.
There is no need to ban hate speech or fake news on social media. People used to publish fake news pamphlets, hate speech pamphlets all the time
in the days of the Founding Fathers.
The internet is just a new technology; the Constitutional issues remain the same.
Just as in time of Founding Fathers, it doesn't
make sense to ban any form of speech today even "hate speech." As long as no one is violent towards others, speech is permissable. Inciting violence is not comitting violence;
inciting violence cannot be banned. The Founding Fathers incited violence. MLK
incited violence at times. Inciting violence is the call to revolution.
We already have laws on the books that protect people against slander and libel. If someone is saying something that isn't true, those laws should be
used. Banning "hate speech" is inherently subjective and enables abuse by authority. The illuminati will soon tell us anything that's anti-Israel
is now hate speech. Mark Zuckerberg, Sharyl Sandberg and Jewish Facebook will tell us that any criticism of Bibi Netanyahu is now Hate Speech. Criticizing
Israel for their Apartheid racist system will be outlawed on Facebook and Instagram and deemed "hate speech" towards Israel.
Banning speech is censorship and a perversion of the 1st amendment - no matter what the speech is saying. No speech is off limits.
Not all speech needs to be rewarded with audiences, but no speech deserves to be banned from being printed
on the internet.
The internet is essentially a big printer with a remote viewing screen. The internet distributes text, video and music. In those regards, the same issues of free speech and
copyright - issues that have already been settled by centuries of American law - apply the same way.
We can apply the same legal and rights based analysis as the Founding Fathers; when we do, we find that "Hate Speech" is a meaningless term that just
means speech that some people find abusive or threatening. If people banned speech that others find abusive or threatening much speech would be banned.
America is a country where we are so confident in our values we can let others be racist or Nazi and realize that their fringe voices will
be drownd out by common sense. Americans are not be so insecure in our beliefs that
we have to ban speech that threatens our beliefs. The entire point of public sphere is that the best arguments ultimately win - that is the point of Democracy
as well. That's can't happen
if certain types of speech are banned.
And in that light, there is no constitutional case to ban hate speech on the internet.
Not only should we not want a government law forcing Facebook to ban "hate speech", we need to enforce the constitution and demand that Facebook
not censor viewpoints that they do not agree with. Facebook should not be allowed to censor
content, just as content cannot be banned on the larger internet itself -- just as content can't be censored in America itself because of our Constitutional rights outlined
in the 1st Amendment.