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Banning Alex Jones Isn't About Free Speech—It's About the Incoherence of 'Hate Speech'

No one will miss Infowars, but that's beside the point.

JonesJim Bourg/REUTERS/NewscomWinter came for Alex Jones yesterday: The conspiracy theorist and proprietor of far-right fever swamp Infowars was kicked off several social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple.

This isn't a First Amendment issue. Private companies are under no obligation to provide a platform to Sandy Hook conspiracy theorizing, 9/11 trutherism, or any of the other insane ideas Jones has propagated. Even so, I can't help but worry that the bans—which were aimed at curbing Jones' hate speech, not his spread of fake news, according to the statements of the various companies—signal an intention to police harmful speech under a definition that is nebulous and likely to be applied selectively.

Jones is a thoroughly unsympathetic victim. The things he says on his podcast and publishes on its website are vile. He is currently being sued for libel by families of the Sandy Hook victims for airing claims that the attack was a false flag operation organized by the U.S. government. Libel is a category of speech that is not protected under the First Amendment, and if you believe there are any situations where an individual should be held legally accountable for wrong speak (I do, albeit with great reticence), there is certainly a case to be made that this is one of them.

Facebook doesn't actually need a reason to ban people from its platform. It can take virtually any action it thinks will improve the user experience. It could ban all conservatives tomorrow if it so desired.

Facebook did give a reason for banning Jones, though, and it's a fairly weak and ill-defined one. "As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies," the company explained. The problem was not that Jones was lying, or engaged in libel, or spreading fake news. The problem was hate speech. But we don't know which statements he made were deemed hateful, or why. We don't know if Jones is being singled out, or if anyone who said the things he said would be banned. We don't know if a statement has to be targeted at a particular person to count as bullying, or whether generic trutherism could fit the bill.

I'm saying this for a third time so that I'm not misunderstood: Facebook can define hate speech however it wants. I am criticizing the lack of clarity in its definition, not because I think the government should intervene, but because I am a user of Facebook who worries that a stronger anti-bullying policy will be difficult to apply evenly.

Jones has been engaged in the same shtick for years. I can't imagine that no one had ever complained about him before. So why now? What is so hateful or bullying about his speech that wasn't apparent last week? What prompted the clearly coordinated campaign to remove him from so many major publishing platforms?

When Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April, Sen. Ben Sasse (R­-Neb.) grilled him on how Facebook defined hate speech. It was an interesting exchange. Zuckerberg was straightforwardly uncertain about how the site would handle such accusations moving forward:

As we are able to technologically shift toward especially having A.I. proactively look at content, I think that that's going to create massive questions for society about what kinds of obligations we want to require companies to fulfill and I do think that that's a question that we need to struggle with as a country. Because I know other countries are, and they are putting laws in place, and America needs to figure out a set of principles that we want American companies to operate under.

The argument that Facebook should not policing any speech—unless it is clearly unprotected by the First Amendment because it, say, advocates imminent lawless action—is strong. As I wrote last month:

In our modern political discourse, Facebook plays a role very much akin to the public square: a massive one, involving the entire world. The arguments for letting nearly all voices—even deeply evil ones, provided they do not organize direct violence or harassment—be heard on this platform are the same arguments for not taking the European route on hate speech: Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult given the frequently subjective nature of offense; we risk de-platforming legitimate viewpoints that are unpopular but deserve to be heard; and ultimately, silencing hate is not the same thing as squelching it.

I elaborated on these views in a podcast debate with Reason's Mike Riggs, who took the opposite position.

I will shed no tears for Jones. But social media platforms that take a broad view of what constitutes unacceptable hate speech have given themselves an extremely difficult task—one that will likely prompt yet more cries of viewpoint censorshipdown the road.

Photo Credit: Jim Bourg/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • Rich||

    "These companies must do more than take down one website. The survival of our democracy depends on it," [Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.] tweeted Monday.

    When are clowns like Murphy going to be recalled for violating their oaths of office? "The survival of our democracy depends on it."

  • Just Say'n||

    "Don't believe your lying eyes, both sides!"

  • Quixote||

    The question is not how to preserve our "democracy" which brings us nothing but problems, but how to preserve the ordered liberty of our oligarchy, the bedrock of the soul of our great nation. At any rate, if we tweak the "intent" requirements of our laws just a little bit, we should be able to criminalize all of these Internet scoundrels, rather than simply relying on a few Internet companies to do the policing for us. Any act of deceit is nothing short of fraud, unless, as the dignified judges of the Second Circuit have held, it is sufficiently "puerile" or "conveys an idea" acceptable to society. Indeed, New York's highest court, together with the Second Circuit, have created a striking precedent in this regard. See the documentation of our nation's leading criminal "parody" case at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Just Say'n||

    It's hilarious because this was always the purpose of Russia fever dreams- create a myth to justify the silencing of opposing viewpoints.

  • Oscarphone||

    I'd disagree a bit. All Russia wanted to do drop the Mento into the Coke and sit back and watch what happens. Russia/Putin has gotten way more than it's money's worth for a few bucks dumped on Facebook ads. Their intent was to create discord and it has worked to perfection by way of Democrat Trump hysteria and bullying. It's not like this was the first election that Russia decided to do pull this cr*p. Facebook can do what they want, it's their site but the pressure was on and to curry favor Facebook, et al, went after an easy target - Jones. Now the question is; will what you or I say pass muster? Popularity or whim will now decide. Don't dare say an unpopular thing.

  • NoVaNick||

    Money talks, so my guess is that FB and other platforms are responding to shareholder pressure and although Alex Jones is a mostly harmless buffoon IMO, a lot of progs are spooked by him because of pizzagate.

  • FreeTempe||

    Yup all contrived. What did Russia actually do? some 300K ad impressions tracked back to RU - mostly about BLM. Yeah that is gonna undermine our Republic in spades.

  • SOFL Hockey Fan||

    Will Alex Jones claim this story is "fake news"?

  • Rich||

    Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult given the frequently subjective nature of offense

    That's why we have artificial intelligence algorithms running on supercomputers, DUH!

  • gaoxiaen||

    +1 Colossus: The Forbin Project

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    I will shed no tears for Jones. But social media platforms that take a broad view of what constitutes unacceptable hate speech have given themselves an extremely difficult task—one that will likely prompt yet more cries of viewpoint censorshipdown the road.

    Way to stick your neck out for the cultural value of free speech, which the 1st Amendment is only a part of.

    Lemme ask you something. NBC/Universal or Disney/ABC decide to deny any Republican who wants to buy a campaign ad. Legal under the current laws? They decide to give free air time to Democrats. Legal?

    The legal issue is at what point does this become a corporate donation to one political party? Can Twitter give Dems free ads? Can Twitter tweak its algorithm so the 'right' tweet becomes as prominent as a paid ad?

  • Steve Tanton||

    You don't have to shed tears, but any attack on free speech is an attack on free speech. There is no such thing as 'hate speech', there is only free speech.

  • Rich||

    Steve, don't you get it? Claiming "There is no such thing as 'hate speech'" is HATE SPEECH!

  • Johnny Galt||

    Who gets to decide what is and isn't "hate speech?"

  • CptNerd||

    The Southern Poverty Law Center, obviously.

  • Flinch||

    Sadly, you are correct [CNN seems to have a hotline from their offices I believe, as pivotal as the politburo was to Pravda]. Early reports are that CNN did alot of the lobbying to coordinate the simultaneous ban. More interesting is that fakebook's alleged policy is so elastic, it means whatever anyone in their offices wants it to mean on an hour by hour basis - it all depends on which SJW is reviewing the material, and who put their knickers in a twist 15 minutes ago. In that light, they have no standards, and everything is ad hoc. Your content is not yours: forget that bs, as it's just a sales pitch that policy directly contravenes.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Early reports are that CNN did alot of the lobbying to coordinate the simultaneous ban.

    If that's true, CNN deserves to have its license pulled and their directors have worse things done to them than a silly gif of Trump clotheslining the company logo.

    "It's freedom of the press, not freedom from consequences, guys! Move to the city and learn to code! Gotta get your hustle on in the new gig economy!"

  • NashTiger||

    All hail them

  • Kratoklastes||

    Ken from PopeHat once wrote a tweet (I paraphrase - I can't find the tweet) that one's "position on the victimhood spectrum can be determined by reference to a complex oppression spreadsheet".

    Doubtless the SPLC, the ADL, and other soi-disant World Improvers are entrusted with maintaining the spreadsheet: they are paragons of virtue who obviously have the right to [try to] control what people think. (All that is required to be a paragon of SJW Virtue, is to declare that you care deeply about something - carbon, or homosexuals, or our dusky brethren).

    I'm also no fan of Noam Chomsky, I think he nailed it when he said "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all".

    This whole frisson is just another manifestation of humanity's ongoing cognitive bifurcation; eventually Facebook will resemble the "Femail" sidebar of the Daily Mail website, and will have an audience median IQ about the same as the average person who uses phrases like "yummy mummy", "baby bump", and "carbon footprint" (i.e., someone who failed year 9 mathematics, whose idea of joined-up thinking means more than one hashtag).

    There will be some other bucket somewhere else that is closer to 4chan /b/ or /pol/ (both of those places are still pretty vibrant).

    History is full of examples of people who yearn to set the dimensions of the Overton Window; they never succeed. Information wants to be free.

    STOP RESISTING.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And if you verbally announce that you hate "hate speech", isn't that.........hate speech?

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    And if you verbally announce that you hate "hate speech", isn't that.........hate speech?

    I hate that question.

  • Oscarphone||

    Free speech is easily defined. Hate speech isn't as it is different for everybody. Let it all out and let the individual decide for themselves. But that last bit there might to much for some people. "Safe spaces", "trigger warning" and all . . .

  • Nardz||

    "Let it all out and let the individual decide for themselves."

    Well said.
    Why do you think there's such a propensity for labeling (safe spaces, trigger warnings, alt-right, etc)?

    Those labels you so aptly cite allow individuals the convenience of not having to decide for themselves.

  • Kratoklastes||

    Why do you think there's such a propensity for labeling (safe spaces, trigger warnings, alt-right, etc)?

    Simple: people near the median prefer their tropes to be fed to them in 3-6 syllable chunks. "glo-bal-war-ming","car-bon-foot-print", "black-lives-mat-ter", "yum-my-mum-my", "U!-S!-A!".

    Like all pabulum, it's easy to digest; like all good propaganda it infects the unwary mind, imposes no cognitive processing load, and enables anyone capable of repeating it to signal their virtue.

    The Simpsons hit the nail on the head; Homer could not be influenced by

    The leader is good. The leader is great. We surrender our will, as of this date

    ... because it was too complex.

    What worked?

    na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na na-na LEA-DER!!! (to the cadence and tune of the theme to the 60s 'Batman' TV show)
  • Fmontyr||

    Steve, you don't get it! If I were to say in a public forum, "I want all you upstanding superior white people to go home and get your guns and shoot as many blacks as you can because they have no right to be in the USA." That is HATE speech. Now, do you get it? Apparently, you never learned about yelling FIRE in a crowded theater.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    (That's a really sad excuse for a Straw Man Argument.)

    And apparently you never learned how property rights in theaters operate.

  • Wearenotperfect||

    I'm totally OK with saying "fire" or even yelling the word "fire" in a theater. People need to stop reacting with panic at the shit that comes out of people's pie hole!

  • gphx||

    What if Franklin Roosevelt said, 'I want all you citizens to take these guns and shoot as many Germans as you can'.

    What if George Washington said, 'I want all you citizens to take these guns and shoot as many Redcoats as you can'.

    The legitimacy or illegitimacy of 'Hate speech' is subjective, depending upon the perspective of the observer. More than 90% of 'hate crime' charges are filed against white people. The charging of 'hate crimes' is done in a prejudicial manner itself meeting the definition of a 'hate crime'.

    Who do you want designated to decide whether your own speech is 'hate speech' or not? A religious fundamentalist? An illegal? Someone who describes people of your description as 'evil'? Problem is you don't get to pick.

  • Zeb||

    I do believe that TV stations cannot legally refuse campaign ads of particular candidates or parties.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    But they are private. I'm not demanding laws; I'm pointing out that current law could very cover this as an in-kind political donation.

  • Zeb||

    I suppose that's an interesting question. I think it would have to be more broadly applied to Republicans and right-wingers before that would be the case.

  • JesseAz||

    The left is arguing oppo research is in kind donations... They ignore the value of editorial praise or preferred search results on Google. They can't weaponized the law on obscure theory and then hand waive it on obvious cases. They started the weaponized on, the only way to end it is mutually assured destruction.

  • BYODB||


    The left is arguing oppo research is in kind donations...


    Well, if that's the case everyone in the DNC and Hillary Clinton would be in jail for receiving opposition research via a British cutout from the Kremlin, right? I mean, if we were being consistent on that viewpoint anyway.

  • MasterThief||

    Wasn't the FBI also implicated in that?

  • Happy Chandler||

    BYODB: Hillary paid for the research. It was no more a donation than calling the box of pens they bought at Staples a donation. A donation is given, not bought.

    Jesse: You can thank Citizen's United for that. Corporations have the unlimited right to boost a candidate. The law against in-kind donations are about foreign donations and coordinating with a campaign. Just like the Koch's can donate millions of dollars to support candidates, so can Google devote their product to support a candidate.

  • BYODB||

    I see that my point went over your head HC. Congratulations on exonerating Trump with your logic, though, I suppose.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Buying information: Not a donation. Legal.

    Receiving information of value: In-kind donation. If from non-citizen, illegal.

    Receiving stolen information: Illegal.

    When someone stole Bush's debate prep material and sent it to Al Gore's advisor, he did not use it and went straight to the FBI. Because accepting it, even though it did not come from a foreign source, may have been illegal.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....b3956aba2c

  • JesseAz||

    Please for the lovr of God stop trying to pretend you understand our legal system at all dumbass. Publishing stolen information is not illegal. See pentagon papers case.

  • NashTiger||

    Dear Zod you are an idiot. You have literally never gotten a single thing right

  • EscherEnigma||

    You might want to be careful, it almost sounds like you're in favor of forced association and compelled services.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Section 315 of the Communications Act prevents TV and radio stations from censoring political ads. There are rules about cost and access.

    Under Citizen's United, corporations can provide unlimited support to a candidate as long as it's not coordinated. Twitter can load up your feed with "Congressman McBribegetter is a poopyhead" any time they want. They could also promote Congressman McBribegetter's tweets all they want. That's what you bought with Citizen's United. What they can't do is ask Congressman McBribegetter what would help her win and do that.

  • Nardz||

    So I guess a reporter running an article by someone's campaign for approval prior to publication is illegal...

  • Happy Chandler||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would anyone click on your link. You make no sense.

    Its a trap!

  • Árboles de la Barranca||

    ...Leo Durocher wouldn't click on that link!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The legal issue is at what point does this become a corporate donation to one political party?

    Where this = Fox & Friends?

    Where this = Sinclair Broadcasting?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It just kills you that there is any dissent in the media, doesn't it?

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Notice how Robbie had to keep reminding us that he thinks Jones is evil.

    As if we don't know where he stands with cuckservatives

  • No Yards Penalty||

    'cuckservatives'
    Crawl back to the Federalist or Brietard or whatever home school you came from, Contard. Your wife/cousin wants you home for dinner.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The troll is back in full FORCE

  • Fancylad||

    Your wife/cousin
    ...But I thought you progs were big on perversion?

  • SlothB77||

    When it is all the top big tech/ social media companies purging Jones on the same day without a specific provocation, it is racketeering. He didn't do anything different Monday than he has been doing for years, yet Facebook, YouTube, apple itunes, spotify, LinkedIn, chimpmail, disqus all banned him suddenly, within hours of each other. In fact, he has said and done much worse things in the past than he has done recently. These are tech companies that have a monopoly on the market by several metrics, > 90% market share of page views. Dominate web traffic when excluding Netflix.

    This goes against a backdrop of Twitter only shadow banning Republican lawmakers and YouTube censoring an ad for a Republican candidate. All the censorship is of one side. And for tech companies that act as publishers, by banning Jones they simultaneously cripple a competitor.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • ||

    That must be why I like him so much better than Robby.

  • Just Say'n||

    I've defended Robby before for being consistent, but this article is pretty much trash. He made more of a stink when Ms. Saigon was attacked for actual racist speech, but provides no examples of Alex Jones actually using "hate speech".

    The upsetting part isn't that Alex Jones was banned, but rather that the media and politicians singled him out for removal and these companies willingly obliged. And now they've done the same thing with Peter Van Buren (dissident intelligence officer with The Nation and The American Conservative) for rightly stating that the media is the biggest cheerleader for war, along Scott Horton (antiwar.com) and Daniel McAdams (The Ron Paul Institute) for the same "offense" of criticizing the corporate media.

  • Ben of Houston||

    He gives several examples. Most notably the Sandy Hook story which was so bad that he is getting sued.

    That's what really got to me. He can do whatever he wants to adults, but accusing children whose friends were just murdered of being paid actors is insane and evil.

  • Just Say'n||

    So in complaining about how broad "hate speech" is, Robby decides that unsavory conspiracy theories are now "hate speech". Cute

  • Just Say'n||

    So in complaining about how broad "hate speech" is, Robby decides that unsavory conspiracy theories are now "hate speech". Cute

  • Zeb||

    I wish reasonable people would just stop using the term "hate speech" without quotes. It's become such a slimy doublespeak work that it's not useful if you want to have an actual conversation about anything.

  • Ben of Houston||

    I don't give a whit about hate speech. Neither did the author. He did mention the libel as a good reason to not like or do business with Jones, which I agree with.

    If Youtube had used the libel suits as a basis to delist him, it would not only have been more defensible, but I doubt we would even be having this discussion.

  • Pudgeboy||

    Libel? There is no chance the libel case succeeds.

  • Just Say'n||

    Being sued for libel is enough to ban someone from the platform?

    Then why weren't Rolling Stones and the NYT banned as well?

  • Happy Chandler||

    YouTube counts "strikes" against pages for posts that violate the company's policies. Jones received a strike in July when he posted four videos that violated YouTube policies against child endangerment and hate speech, the company said in a statement to CNBC.

    A page with one strike against it is suspended from live streaming for 90 days, YouTube said, but Jones attempted to circumvent the suspension by live streaming on other channels. As a result, his page was terminated, the company said.

    But, they don't have to explain it to you. It's not in their business interests to host him. That's why.

  • JesseAz||

    Steele is getting sued, so is Huffington Post. When will Facebook ban any discussion of the dossier or take down huffpo?

  • Happy Chandler||

    When it is against their business interests.

  • JesseAz||

    Alienating half of your potential us customers or users isn't a good business interest. Apparently you didn't watch news last week.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    "business interests" = one world government ideology

  • Echospinner||

    I don't watch TV news.

    I do try and keep up with the market and business news.

    So you going short on Apple, Alphabet (YouTube), and Facebook because they booted Alex Jones?

    It's a bold strategy. Let's see if it pays off for ya.

  • CE||

    Lying about people being "crisis actors" is not hate speech. He should be (and is being) sued for slandering people who have already suffered a tragic loss.

    I haven't listened to Jones for years, but don't recall anything overtly racist or hateful. Maybe he's changed in recent years, but I haven't seen any examples from the sites banning him that could accurately be labeled "hate speech".

    And do want to ban anyone for publishing unpopular conspiracy theories? What if some of them are partially true, and no one else is willing to expose the truth?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    He didn't say that, plus, it wouldn't be a lie (about certain people being crisis actors).

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Except that he didn't say that Sandy Hook was a hoax. He danced around the issue, may have had on guests that said that it was, but he didn't say so himself, and he can easily prove that. These lawsuits are being bankrolled by wealth DNC donors.

    BTW, I happen to think that Sandy Hook was, in fact, a hoax, and that Alex Jones is a decent libertarian guy than needs some polishing around the edges. I don't like the way he presents information, but I like the information he presents.

    He is right wa-a-a-a-y more than wrong on the vast majority of issues.

  • FreeTempe||

    truth

  • Zeb||

    It seems that certain people are just assumed to be known to be awful, garbage people. I haven't seen a lot of what Jones produces, but it seems likely that he really does belong in that category for the stuff he pushes about school shootings, if nothing else.
    But a lot of people seem to get put into that category who don't really deserve it (like the others you mention). SO some evidence for the claims would be good. Of course, it doesn't help that Facebook, etc. are not being specific about what the specific reasons for the bans are, what violated the terms of service.

  • Just Say'n||

    "it seems likely that he really does belong in that category for the stuff he pushes about school shootings, if nothing else."

    That's a stupidly broad category.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, probably. Lots of them are.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Of course, it doesn't help that Facebook, etc. are not being specific about what the specific reasons for the bans are, what violated the terms of service.

    That's the biggest problem with this, IMO. By not saying specifically what he said that got him the ban it makes it impossible for him to know what kinds of things he should avoid saying if he decides he ever wants to be allowed back onto Facebook or any other platform. And it also makes it impossible for anyone else to know exactly what kind of speech will get you banned. That's got to have a chilling effect on speech, which is probably the whole point.

  • Happy Chandler||

    From Facebook:

    Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.

    All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes. While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today's removals were related to this.

    They have their standards. There were lots of complaints. It became against their business interest to host him. Therefore he's gone.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy

    "Crackhead gangbangers will still be allowed to flash gang signs and guns in their pictures, however."

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Happy seems to believe that everything the platforms are claiming is true. Hint: they're lying. They just don't like conservative/libertarian viewpoints and are using this excuse to de-platform.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    No, Happy knows they're lying--he's just happy to play along because of who's doing it.

    He and those like him hate you and want to see you dead. Never forget that.

  • CE||

    Just be a Euro-liberal and you'll be fine.

  • Flinch||

    You do know that European socialism requires underwriting of security by US military, right? The EU experience cannot be recreated in the USA - we'll get what: 5B in foreign aid from like 8 countries? It won't be 1% of what we need to run off and burn 85T dollars like Bernie wants to do.

  • JesseAz||

    How is what he says worse than actual democrat politicians saying nra memebers are terrorists who want children to die?

  • Zeb||

    I'm not claiming that it is. None of what I said is in any way intended to justify the actions of Facebook, etc. or to say that others don't get a pass on similarly bad behavior.

  • Happy Chandler||

    A) Who said that?
    B) Because it's in their business interests.

  • JesseAz||

    I'm convinced you are happily ignorant at this point Chandler. Jeep proving your ignorance.

  • NashTiger||

    "It seems that certain people are just assumed to be known to be awful, garbage people. "

    like the Editorial Board of the New York Times, CNN, and the leadership of the Democrat Party

  • ThomasD||

    The is the Reason 'libertarian' rope-a-dope.

    When a a non lefty gets forced out of the public square (or worse) it's a moment of chin tugging, and tsk tsking.

    When a lefty gets a taste of their own medicine it's shrieking, wailing, dire warnings, and finger pointing cries of 'hypocrisy.'

  • CE||

    Except the lefties get a stern warning (see NYT, ESPN, etc.), and the righties get fired or banned (see Curt Schilling, Alex Jones, etc.)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Lefties got propaganda to disseminate.

    They aint got time for dissent.

  • Steve Tanton||

    Disagree. Private company perhaps, but public forum. Perhaps new laws are needed. If Alex Jones is prohibited from speaking out, who else is next? It is always, 'it is not so much what is right, but who gets to decide what is right.'

  • Just Say'n||

    No need for new laws. These companies were provided legal protections in the 90's from defamation or violating copy rights if they maintained no editorial control over posts. That ship has sailed now. Hoping Peter Thiel is financing a new set of lawsuits.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    I'm looking for the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when and if this happens. The wailing around here about Gawker was hilarious. How DARE Thiel fund Hogan's lawsuit?! Think of all of those poor, poor journalists!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Bingo! That's exactly the point I was going to make: These sites have special legal protections premised on the claim that they are not exercising editorial control over content.

    And they ARE exercising that control, every day.

    I'm not asking that the government censor FB. I'm asking that FB be kicked out of its "safe harbor" until such time as they stop asserting editorial control.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act explicitly removed the editorial control exclusion of safe harbor.

    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

    Congress enacted § 230's broad immunity "to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children's access to objectionable or inappropriate online material."

    This is exactly what Section 230 is for.

  • Ron||

    However Alex jones has his own website so anyone can still listen to him. Now if he is denied access to the web then we will have a real free speech problem. That said when will maxine waters facebook, instagram, youtube appearances be shut down she is clearly promoting hatred, not just conspiracies which are harmless but outright promoting violence against anyone to the right of her

  • ThomasD||

    ..." Alex jones has his own website"...

    For now.

    What happens when nobody will host him?

    Or nobody wants to handle his banking?

  • Happy Chandler||

    Then the free market worked!

  • ThomasD||

    Same as the free market for lunch counters, right Happy?

  • Happy Chandler||

    Racial discrimination is illegal.

    He wasn't discriminated against by his race.

  • NicholasStix||

    But it wasn't, and the laws that later made it illegal are unconstitutional.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    So you think the fact that he's a southern, white far-right conservative had nothing to do with this?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    May your chains rest lightly on your shoulders. And the ocean floor.

  • MasterThief||

    Isn't that kinda what happened with Stormfront? I seem to recall their host pulling the plug on them. I assume they've found someone else and are back online now (judging by all the hate still being lobbed at them). As much as I despise them, I saw that as a major canary in the coal mine incident. I'll stop risking a slippery slope argument when the evidence ceases to show how far things slide.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Or the DNS servers refuse to resolve his url even if you somehow know what it is? That's the next step after locking people out of search engine results.

  • BYODB||

    This was more or less how we ended up at the awkward crossroads where Trump can't ban someone from his Twitter feed even while Twitter can ban someone from Trump's Twitter feed. The government (RE: Judges) are fucking this issue up and are backdoor nationalizing social media. Platforms like Facebook are probably one of the most useful tools for law enforcement and national security organizations there is, yet we all pretend like it's definitely not being used that way.

    Yeah, sure, tell me another one. I'm sure those facial recognition algoritims are being worked on just because Facebook wants your photo's to have more tags.

    /Alex Jones Sarc

  • Happy Chandler||

    Trump is a public servant. He cannot pick and choose who can petition him.

    Private companies cannot be forced to facilitate that. Can I tell AT&T that they can't cancel my phone service if I don't pay, so that I can call and email the government? If they cut my phone, I can't see him on twitter.

    Also, you can view Twitter without an account. You can read all of Trump's tweets even if you've been banned.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Nonsense. He's tweeting in his private capacity.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    If Facebook does ban conservatives (something I don't regard as too far-fetched, given the way things are going nowadays) it will have one hilarious effect: even more "progressives" will be utterly baffled when people like Trump get elected. Banning people from social media doesn't make them disappear and it doesn't change their minds. "But nobody I'm 'friends' with likes him!"*

    *In the old days they would have said "nobody I know". But you don't know somebody just because they "friended" you.

  • croaker||

    Elisabeth Heng. Pay attention.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I had heard about this. I was referring to a total blanket ban on conservatives; I would say that Elisabeth Heng is a good example of why it isn't a far-fetched notion.

  • BillyG||

    even more "progressives" will be utterly baffled when people like Trump get elected....."But nobody I'm 'friends' with likes him!"*

    So.... back in 2016 after Trump won the election, a newspaper took out an add asking for Trump voters. After the election, they were baffled, and then they realised no one working at the paper knew any Trump voters.

  • Horny Lizard||

    Breitbart bans normal reasonable liberals from its platform every day. It's just interesting to me that you think Alex Jones getting banned requires some type of grest response when it's been crickets heretofore.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "Reasonable liberals"

    oxymoron.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The Nation and The New Republic don't publish George Will. None of these claim to be a public forum.

  • Just Say'n||

    Breitbart is not a platform, it is a publisher. Social media sites identify themselves as a platform to avoid legal consequences from what commentators might say.

  • Zeb||

    Banning people from comment sections is a little different from removing people from major media distribution platforms. Though I'm not a fan of purely viewpoint-based banning from comment sections either.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Commenters create free content for sites like Reason and Breitbart, but I don't think there are any professional commenters. Rather, I don't believe there are people whose business it is comment on Breitbart stories. I don't think commenters can quantify damages against Breitbart if it's determined that Breitbart violated whatever contractual rights (if any) that are owed to commenters.

    Alex Jones is in the business of selling advertising, selling his brand, selling his products, etc., and he created content for YouTube, Spotify, and others in order to advance that business. He can quantify the damages of these companies breaching their contractual obligations to him. Furthermore, companies like YouTube are in the business of reselling content that content creators like Alex Jones supply for them.

    People may come to Reason or Breitbart to read users' comments, but that's not what Reason or Breitbart are selling.

  • BYODB||


    Commenters create free content for sites like Reason and Breitbart, but I don't think there are any professional commenters.

    What is Fist, chopped liver?

    Alex Jones is in the business of selling advertising, selling his brand, selling his products, etc., and he created content for YouTube, Spotify, and others in order to advance that business. He can quantify the damages of these companies breaching their contractual obligations to him. Furthermore, companies like YouTube are in the business of reselling content that content creators like Alex Jones supply for them.


    This might have been the case at one point, but YouTube and the rest have decided to exercise editorial control over their outlets now which does seem to indicate that they're giving up certain legal protections against what shows up on their platforms. I suspect this will come back around and bite them in the dick.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Contractual obligations don't disappear simply because YouTube doesn't want them anymore.

  • BYODB||

    You would think, but is seems probable that they will in this case because the government thinks Jones should be shut up. Where there's a will, there's a way.

    And, besides, YouTube doesn't have any contractual obligations to Jones. They explicitly tell you that if you look at them sideways they can ban you for essentially any reason they think up.

    Remember when YouTube gave the finger to their previous users that were using their platform to make money? Yeah, if they didn't have a case Jones is fucked.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    You think I come here to read the articles?

  • CE||

    And Red State banned Ron Paul supporters, even though Ron Paul was more Republican than anyone else running.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The only leftists I have ever seen over there commenting are vicious smug trolls. But hat is probably what you consider reasonable.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Lefties are about control.

    Anyone who doubts this, really needs to wake up. Its a bad dream with Lefties literally trying to shut you up, take control by any means, and murder dissenters.

  • CE||

    The First and Second Amendments are an embarrassment to them, really.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    People who do not want to be enslaved by progressives better wake up and start discussing what to do about them. Even if you screen out the low information soft headed fools who aren't committed members of the cause, that still leaves many millions of Marxist slavers who are working every day to put their boot on your necks for the rest of time.

    Sooner is better than later.

  • Steve Tanton||

    Suggestion: read "The Attack on Alex Jones Is An Attack on Free Speech" by Joel B. Pollak @ Breitbart

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm saying this for a third time so that I'm not misunderstood...

    The court stipulates that one can defend a right and still criticize a specific exercising of that right.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It is not clear that content delivery companies have no contractual obligations to Alex Jones whatsoever.

    If I put up a sign offering $100 to anyone who finds my lost dog, with a caveat that I can change the terms whenever I want, and you go out and find my lost dog, it is not clear that I can refuse to pay you $100--since the dog was my property anyway and I put a caveat in the contract.

    The question is whether Alex Jones abided by the terms of the contract.

    If you're telling us that the terms of the contract were vague, then that argues well for Alex Jones' case.

    The question isn't whether the government should get involved in regulating the content or distribution of social media. The question is whether these companies breached their contractual obligations to Alex Jones.

    P.S. The secondary question is whether all these companies colluded against Alex Jones.

  • Rich||

    The secondary question is whether all these companies colluded against Alex Jones.

    Wait. Is collusion a crime?

  • I can't even||

    It can be if it is between competitors with near monopoly market share.

  • Rich||

    But not if such collusion is to protect people from hate speech, right? RIGHT?!

  • Flinch||

    Nevermind monopoly. I doubt Sessions has the ability to break the seal on the anti trust division at DOJ and get it fired up once more - he's due to be put out to pasture. A monopoly case would tie him in knots, as monetizing these platforms comes not from the customers wallets, but from the metrics their content creates [inside a proprietery system the user doesn't own] which are generally not recognized as the account holders intellectual property except as the user agreement provides for it [like Youtube monetization] with narrow limits. The princes of social media will ask a court "who has been damaged?" regarding suspended or closed accounts, and a user who pays nothing has... no case, leaving Sessions to go even balder. This is why Zuckerberg has a permanent smirk [or sh*t eating grin] on his face, and when he tries to look "serious" it comes across so fake people cringe. The guy goes through most of his day almost peeing his pants seeing how much money his system can crank out. All that matters to Zuck is the servers stay up. To that end... who threatened his server farms because of Alex Jones having an account there? Might be the question of the decade.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Is collusion a crime?

    Breach of contract isn't a crime.

    It's a civil matter.

    No one's talking about throwing anyone in jail.

    If a bunch of companies get together and collude to destroy someone's business, I would think a civil jury would find that information pertinent in a civil case.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Breach of contract isn't a crime.

    It's a civil matter.

    No one's talking about throwing anyone in jail.

    It's cute that you think the US doesn't throw people in jail over civil matters.

  • croaker||

    And beyond Alex Jones, what about Elisabeth Heng? Everyone bitches about Russia interfering in our elections years ago and ignore the fact that Zuckerberg is interfering today.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Because I don't want the government doing anything about Zuckerberg, that's one of the reasons why I don't bitch about Russia interfering in our elections.

    If we start attacking the First Amendment because the left treats it so shabbily, then who's left to defend it?

  • BYODB||


    If we start attacking the First Amendment because the left treats it so shabbily, then who's left to defend it?

    Fun Fact: there isn't much left of it to defend in terms of society and their sentiments towards it. People may say they love it, and in theory they do when they benefit. More and more people want to shut up someone else, though, and one side is very interested in using government clout to achieve those ends.

    Even the ACLU has given up on it. The trajectory is fairly clear, I think, even while occasionally a ruling like Citizens United is made. A decision, of course, that would have been challenged and overturned had Clinton become President. That should tell us something, as well.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not about to give up on the First Amendment simply because the ACLU has and millennials aren't that into it.

    The First Amendment (and the principles behind it) have survived much worse, and will continue to do so.

    Society cannot violate fundamental rights without suffering the negative consequences of doing so. Property rights, religious rights, doesn't matter--the negative consequences will continue to pile up.

    No reason to think the facts of free speech and freedom of religion will disappear because of the ACLU and millenials.

  • BYODB||


    Society cannot violate fundamental rights without suffering the negative consequences of doing so.

    You're absolutely right, but ultimately the road to hell really is paved with 'good intentions' and our society at large is very interested in intention, divined or otherwise.

    The most common view of those very rights are a positive interpretation brosif. Ask almost anyone to describe rights, and you'll hear a recitation of the positive interpretation.

    Those who believe otherwise are already a minority.

  • CE||

    Exactly.

  • MasterThief||

    Alex Jones is interesting when sane and entertaining when acting outright insane. He is a conspiracy theorist and pushes a lot of bs. That social media companies are colluding to remove his platform or at the least share a view that he should be removed is concerning. That sort of thing starts making me less sympathetic to their decisions as private entities and makes me question if government coercion is playing a role.
    What did he post that is so diabolical that he needs to be removed? Is there any question about whether they would have taken this action if he wasn't right wing, anti-government, and had a strong following? Him being a conspiracy theorist and all around pusher of bs puts him right in line with DU and other left wing groups on social media

  • Ron||

    lots of people his conspiracy claims alone are reason enough to expel Jones however those who beleive in his conspiracies will now only be more confirmed that silencing him is a part of the conspiracy. no better way to grow a conspiracy than to silence them. Better to let them ramble on and show their insane side. like the old saying let a fool speak to show everyone he is a fool. or however it goes

  • BYODB||

    ^ This. Literally the only people I know who watch Infowars (And I do know a few) watch his show purely for it's comedy value.

    The true nutjobs that watch will be even more convinced that he's telling the truth because of this, and in a weird way where there's smoke there's usually fire. It's unusual that so many platforms delisted him at the same time. There isn't anything necessarily sinister about it, but to a conspiracy theory tin-foil hat wearing person this is probably the 'final proof' that Jones was telling the truth all along.

    Yeesh.

  • BillyG||

    That social media companies are colluding to remove his platform or at the least share a view that he should be removed is concerning.

    This is just a thought...but when buisinesses collude to exclude a competitor from a market, this can be viewed as an anti-trust violation (illegal monopoly). So... could Alex Jones sue Facebook for damages under existing law for acting as an illegal monopoly?

  • MasterThief||

    That's if we assume it was only private businesses deliberating among themselves. It's a whole other ballgame if government actors have a role in the decision. Not sure how well this would fit into an anti-trust claim, but it is concerning

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    I don't really follow him, but I do wonder if he's ever been right about any of his theories.

  • Zeb||

    Well, I'm sure some people will miss Infowars. And I doubt this is the end of Alex Jones as a public/internet figure.

  • Don't look at me.||

    When do we start burning the"wrong " books?

  • Rich||

    What's a "book"?

  • Ron||

    before the internet my Step dad, a very smart man and good man with one weakness, he believed every conspiracy theory out there and had every book there was on the subject. thank God he didn't have internet

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Start?

  • I can't even||

    Is this article about anything other than Robby's virtue-signals?

    We get it, you are an awesome right-thinking person.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Reason is a stepping stone job in an industry dominated by the left. He is auditioning for his next gig.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think Robby's ideas on speech are more . . . um . . . nuanced than the average libertarian's.

    One need not be a car in order to write about cars.

    In order to writer about libertarians, one need not . . .

    I don't see anything terrible about this article. I think he did a pretty good job on this one.

  • CE||

    Me too.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    And by "nuanced", you mean "statist"?

  • Juice||

    Right? Man, the 1st 2 paragraphs are painful. We get it, Robby, you're not one of "those people." You don't have to say 14 different ways.

  • Pudgeboy||

    ..basically sums it up.

  • croaker||

    Sure, Fascistbook can make any rules they desire. However, at that point they lose safe harbor under Section 230 as they can no longer be considered a "common carrier." If they chose content, they are a content provider, and are subject to sanction as such.

  • GlenchristLaw||

    With Facebook, you are not the customer, you are the product.

    You might as well argue that corn flakes have a right to object to the image on the box they're sold in.

  • Zeb||

    That's true for personal accounts, but I think it's a bit different for businesses and content creators. Though I'm not entirely sure how it works.

  • MikeP2||

    As others have noted, these 'platforms' have now demonstrated that they will exert extensive editorial control over content as defined by their TOS. This very much changes their place in the market from a platform provider to a publisher/content manager. They have opened themselves up to liability on a whole range of fronts, but particularly copyright infringement.

    And for those conspiracy minded individuals....
    This is an orchestrated ploy by the progs to establish statist control over social and informational media platforms. By going after the far right fringe, they will spur activity and discussion on governmental controls. If not successful, they have freedom to purge the right from the platforms. If successful, they not have the ability to exert control over the media. A proggy win-win scenario.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Facebook doesn't actually need a reason to ban people from its platform. It can take virtually any action it thinks will improve the user experience. It could ban all conservatives tomorrow if it so desired.

    Now do public accommodation laws

  • Just Say'n||

    Yeah, I don't get how the magazine that pimped Gary "Bake the Cake" Johnson can say any of this with a straight face

  • Ken Shultz||

    I thought about going there.

    There is a difference.

    What these companies are doing to Alexi Jones is a question of whether they breached a preexisting contract.

    Public accommodation is about forcing people into a contract against their will.

    I don't believe fundamentalist couples should be free to refuse to pay a gay baker for services rendered after they've entered into a contract and the baker supplied a wedding cake.

    I just don't believe that fundamentalist couples or gay bakers should be forced to enter into a contract against their will.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    There is a difference in the case of cake bakers. In that case you're forcing them to do labor at the point of a gun. Your example of forcing contractual agreement. In my mind it's even worse to force speech or labor at the point of a gun than to just force someone to passively accept an abhorrent person on their property.

    If you thought about public accommodation in terms of banning someone from your store, for instance, I don't see that as a significant difference than the case here. Now think about the case of a Muslim who reads the Q'ran in a Christian book store. Could the Christian kick them out? And if not, how is that different?

  • Happy Chandler||

    You can't discriminate on sex, gender, race, religion, disability, and in some states, sexual orientation.

    None of that happened here.

    Next question?

  • CE||

    Is it right?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's not a question about what is the law. The question is why is it different, especially in a case where one would force someone to perform a creative service like decorating a cake. In that case you're forcing someone to do labor. In this case all YouTube has to do is allow Jones to post.

    Could I discriminate against a gay person and claim it's because of their political affiliation? Who is to say what my motive was?

    What if Alex Jones was gay or a minority?

    Laws based on intent are problematic, at best.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Happy, do you know what legal positivism is? Do you know that it's bullshit?

  • Hunthjof||

    The problem is this didn't happen in a vacuum. This is happening cause the CEO's of Social Media platforms got dragged before congress and threatened with FCC action if they didn't start censoring on their own. Jones is a total Fruit Loop no doubt but this won't stop with him. FB has it's marching orders and will continue to censor anything deemed inappropriate by certain politicians.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The thing that makes it interesting, and problematic in a democracy, is that they're not even getting their marching orders from the majority party. They're getting them from the out of power minority party.

    That's the big issue we see with the media today: Not that it's biased, not that it censors content. That large parts of it have become an ideological monoculture. At the moment this doesn't seem so horrible, because the monoculture isn't aligned with the party in power, and that blunts the effects somewhat.

    But we're only an election or two away from their coming into alignment, and then we will, for all practical purposes, have state run media. And who will be able to stand against them both working together, instead of in opposition?

  • Hunthjof||

    Pretty much. What also is scary is they are also responding to foreign governments. These threats have been coming from people like the London mayor and officials in the EU as well.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Keep in mind that CNN threatened to dox the goofball who made the Trump/CNN wrestling gif if he didn't take it down and apologize.

    The mass media complex isn't a protector of "democracy," they're a group of cliquey, provincial little bitches with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and a power complex. If they keep this shit up, eventually they're going to go after someone with nothing left to lose, and it won't turn out well for them.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So Jones is a vile reprobate, while Jeong did not actually mean the things he wrote. And in Jones's case, libel is just desserts, not a grave threat to free speech like when Trump suggests making libel easier to prove in court.

  • Zeb||

    Well, that could all be true.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It just seems to fit Soave's pattern of "no true enemies on the left, no allies on the right" framing to his articles. Leftists are well meaning though possibly misguided or overly enthusiastic when they do something he thinks is wrong. Somebody on the right doing something similar is just malevolent in heart and soul.

    It may be correct in a specific case, but he frames it that way in every case.

  • MasterThief||

    I think that the main thrust of his arguments are pretty decent and fall on the right premise. Still, I have to agree that his framing of each situation makes his partisanship clear and does occasionally lead to him offering support to the wrong people. Far too many "to be sure" statements and caveats to excuse the motivations of the left and clarify his distaste for the right.

  • Pudgeboy||

    very thin libel case...

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    I'll be interested in seeing what Robby has to say when it's Reason that's getting deplatformed.

  • Just Say'n||

    Reason would never get de-platformed. You never go after controlled opposition. They provide the facade that there is an opposition.

    National Review will get de-platformed well before anyone at Reason ever does

  • Juice||

    Robby's making sure of that by repeatedly telling everyone how much he doesn't subscribe to right wing conspiracy theories. Got that, everyone? Robby does not believe right wing conspiracy theories. So if you thought that, read this piece and he'll let you know. He doesn't. Ok?

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    I'm not sure whether Reason falls under Controlled Opposition or Useful Idiots. If the latter, I wouldn't want to be the idiot when he ceases to be useful.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm old enough to remember when "libertarian" was rebellious. Now it just means milquetoast and garbage-y mouthpiece for the establishment

  • No Yards Penalty||

    I remember when ''conservative'' didn't mean cousin-marrying hillbilly fuckwit.
    Exhibit: You.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason staff are not Libertarians.

    Libertarians were more than rebels, they were traitors to the crown and everything establishment. Classic liberals or Libertarians shook the World and continue to.

  • BYODB||

    Reason is definitely in the useful idiots column. Read any article they publish on immigration and it becomes patently obvious.

  • CE||

    They will just go after the commenters.

  • Peacedog||

    Robby completely missed the point.

    While these service providers are legally entitled to provide service to whomever they want, that is not what they did here.

    They colluded, in other words worked collectively, to silence someone whose views they do not want the general public to be aware of.

    It is simply the re-emergence of media as the narrative setters versus reporting.

    All of these platforms are quite comfortable with hate speech if it targets people they don't like.

    Bottom line, these same platforms need to be sued for promoting hate speech. Only then will they embrace something approaching free speech. And honestly, much like the legacy media, they may simply prefer to die than change what they are doing.

    But the issue needs to be forced or they will simply become the modern version of Pravda.

  • Domina Elle||

    Has anyone here paid attention to what Louis Farrakhan has been saying? YouTube hosts videos that have Farrakhan calling for white people to be killed. That's not 'hate speech'? Apparently not because he's not been banned. I watched him call for 10,000 young black men to rise up and kill white police. Not only is he happy to sacrifice the lives of young black men he is inciting violence and murder. This is just one example. Yes these platforms are ok with hate speech it just depends on who the targets are and who is talking. Jones is a schmuck but I've never heard of him calling for anyone's death.

    Pretty rich of him bitching about free speech as his site blocks people who question his narratives. Same with his going on about fake news. He's promoted plenty.

    Humans.

  • AlgerHiss||

    Just checked to see if Louis Farrakhan is on u-tube.

    Yep.

    Farrakhan is okay and Jones is bad.

    Okay. Now I understand the ground rules.

  • BYODB||

    Look, man, there is nothing wrong with saying that all the Jews should probably stop existing on YouTube. Endorsing terrorism is also just fine.

    -Democrats

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's also ok on FaceBook to advocate violence, so long as you're doing it from a left wing perspective. I tested that, reported an Antifa site that was openly advocating assaulting people. Took a week for FB to get back to me to say they didn't see any TOS violation there.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    Interesting discussion about libertarianism and deplatforming, but it's on an alt-right site, so possibly NSFW.

    https://tinyurl.com/ycgeornn

  • DajjaI||

    Facebook can define hate speech however it wants.

    At the risk of being banned again by Reason - I agree completely.

  • widget||

    I am not so sure Alex Jones will be "banned" from Youtube. He won't get a channel or any money from his Youtube posts, but not necessarily banned.

    A couple of months ago Youtube unpersoned Colin Flaherty. They removed his channel and all his videos. If you searched Youtube for "Colin Flaherty" back then you would see only one video from a black guy who defended his right to speak freely there. Now you can look him up again and see several Colin Flaherty videos, but not packaged on a channel, of course.

    Youtube is walking a fine line.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Google is digging its own grave. It became popular for posting videos that mainstream websites would not.

    A new and freer website will rise up.

    Rock, flag, and eagle!

  • Tony||

    At worst these decisions were made for business reasons, which shouldn't be a problem for any of you.

    If these businesses grew a conscience in spite of potential revenue loss they incur from not hosting Alex Jones, then points for decency in the face of business amorality.

    But one suspects that mainstream platforms don't want to be known as enablers of insane rightwing freaks who are destroying America. If you guys think that means that evil progressives are controlling the narrative to the extent that it effects companies' bottom lines, then why don't you do something about it instead of bitch?

    Explain why it's better for these companies to host a guy who thinks lizard people in human suits run the world.

  • widget||

    Only the lizard people confuse 'affect' and 'effect'.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How does that make you pheel?

  • Zeb||

    But they seem happy to enable insane left-wing freaks who are destroying America.

  • Tony||

    Yeah they're gonna tolerate the world to death.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well you got the death part right.

  • Zeb||

    There are some pretty damn intolerant people on the left. Please note that I did not say that the entire left is destroying America. But there certainly is a segment that seems to be trying. You are a fairly liberal person. A lot of the left is quite illiberal and would happily crush free speech and punish wrong-thinkers.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps, but not nearly as many as on the right:

    43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media

    Tony finally found a piece of regulation he doesn't want to see enacted.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    100% of Tonys want to give the power to shut down media .... to Hillary.

  • CE||

    Like they're so tolerant of fellow liberals who run a hot dog stand and dare serve lunch to government employees in Portland, across the street from the ICE offices?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Just like they "tolerate" different opinions.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Sure.

    Tech investors skew liberal/Democrat, and more of "blue" America is internet connected then "red" America.

    So from the perspective of tech companies, their income steams are more "blue" then "red", which means that the bar for a "left wing freak" to become a liability is higher then for a "right wing freak".

    Demographics and economics, people.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Now do the NFL.

  • EscherEnigma||

    What about the NFL?

    It's stuck between a rock and a hard place. If it lets the players protest as they want, it risks seriously alienating it's fan base which is disproportionally white and Republican. If it restricts the players from protesting, it risks seriously alienating it's stars and damaging it's ability to recruit top talent in the future.

    Or to put it another way, the tech industry is broadly aligned between talent and customers. The NFL has a mismatch between their talent and their customers. Which is why the tech companies are probably going to stay the course without lasting harm, and the NFL is going to be wrestling with the protest issue for another year or so.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The NFL is in exactly the same place the NBA is. Funny how they haven't had much of a problem.

    Funny how you've provided absolutely no evidence to back up your claim that the "tech industry" is the autarky you wish it to be.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you didn't want my off-the-cuff opinion on an unrelated topic that I don't care about, why did you ask for it?

    That said, evidence? C'mon dude, y'all never care when I *do* provide evidence (hell, sometimes y'all obstinately assert that I haven't provided it because you're unwilling to click to a new tab on an info sheet), and for this forum it's not really called for anyway.

  • CE||

    And it's the uber-liberal NBA that has mandated standing for the national anthem for decades.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    The long term success of the NFL has been dependent upon a fairly weak union and ownership who managed their product. Owners realized long ago that they have other businesses and can withstand the income loss much better than the players. The players realized this too. Players who don't want to work regular jobs and know that they can't make a million or more dollars a year doing anything else (and won't get the adulation of the masses either). I've known a couple NFL players over the years and one of the biggest secrets is how many of these guys are living paycheck to paycheck (child support, taxes, homes, etc.).

    They could tell the players that they had to stand, sing, and dance for the anthem if they wanted to, and most of them would do it. They know deep down without the NFL and the owners, they'd be (gasp!) working a regular job or at best playing in the CFL or Arena football for fractions of fractions of what they make now.

  • CE||

    There is no damage to its ability to recruit players. Lots of people want those jobs.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If it restricts the players from protesting, it risks seriously alienating it's stars and damaging it's ability to recruit top talent in the future.

    LOL, no. Unless Tom Steyer, Ted Turner, and George Soros step up to begin the Woke Football League, or the CFL completely alters its residency rules, the only place for the top talent to go to make money is the NFL.

  • Zeb||

    That's fair, but I think there is more to it than just the audience demographics. The left just isn't very good at separating out the crazies. Most of the right is pretty good at separating themselves from the real racists and whackos. But being an apologist for Communists should be just as socially unacceptable as doing the same for Nazis, yet somehow it isn't.

  • Shirley Knott||

    "At worst"? Seriously?
    Even you should be able to craft scenarios that are much worse than making decisions for business reasons.

  • Tony||

    At worst, I suppose, it's actual lizard people.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I can't help but worry that the bans ... signal an intention to police harmful speech under a definition that is nebulous and likely to be applied selectively.

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's exactly the point.

    First they came for the conspiracy theorist lunatic...

  • Ken Shultz||

    To reiterate from yesterday about how various social media companies policies are so wildly inconsistent, here's 45 Grave's "Party Time", available on YouTube from this link for six years running:

    Death come quick
    For a girl
    Victim of a homicide
    Cut and beaten
    Brutally raped
    The five year old
    Didn't escape
    Her mom and friend
    Did her in
    Cigarette burns
    On her arms
    From her mom and her friend
    He had a whip
    To hit her again

    Do you want to party?
    It's party time!
    We got a party,
    It's party time!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr9KRAMydf0

    Alex Jones said something about Muslims and a mass shooting?

  • Qsl||

    Ahem,

    Beyond possibly missing the acquired humor of .45 Grave (or that you are a bit long in tooth if this is your goto for "shocking", which would in turn make me long in tooth for knowing the reference... fuck you for that), nothing is in violation of the TOS- there is nothing advocating for the abuse of children, and we could get into a long, virulent academic (as if there is any other kind) argument over the meaning (I warn you now, I'm more than willing to fully explore the homoerotic subtext of Moby Dick to make my point)...

    Youtube is one of the few places to be exposed to that era of SoCal death rock, and to even bring it up in context of other things that could be banned gets you 1,000 demerits and a stern frowny face

    Bad Ken. Go sit in the corner.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm saying this for a third time so that I'm not misunderstood: Facebook can define hate speech however it wants. I am criticizing the lack of clarity in its definition, not because I think the government should intervene

    Yeah, whatever, Fruit Sushi. We're on to you, cuck! /just kidding

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Even so, I can't help but worry

    Kinda come off like a guy who can't help but worry.

    Also I hate the hate pimps. Is that what they want?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Conservatives can, of course, create their own platforms. But if such a platform were to become successful, I wonder if the progs would just go to Plan B, i.e. following in NY Governor Cuomo's footsteps and abusing the power of government to make it difficult for the platform to conduct ordinary business transactions e.g. cutting it off from the financial industry.

  • Tony||

    Do you think that right-wing horseshit doesn't get enough airtime in this country?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Do you think that it gets too much airtime and should be suppressed by any means possible, including government coercion?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    It certainly got more than enough from 2001-2008

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    That's exactly what they did. See Hatreon, alt-right.com, therightstuff.biz, and the ever popular Daily Stormer. All of them got dropped from the banks and payment processors.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Yah, that's horrible. The go-to site for Nazis got cut off from bank transactions. Just horrible.

  • Aloysious||

    I'm saying this for a third time so that I'm not misunderstood

    I'm going to misunderstand what you write on purpose and then insult your hair.

  • Ron||

    when you pick and choose what speech is good and what isn't soon there will be no speech at all.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you want social media platforms to be free speech absolutionists, then you need to start your own and offer superior services to create sufficient competition pressure.

    Fact is, you can not reasonably expect a company to take your political/idealogical stance when there is no money in it. As lawyers have made very clear, corporations so not have any social or idealogical obligations, their only obligations are to rule bottom line.

    Don't like it? Too bad. If you're putting libertarianism and capitalism up as your ideals, that's how the cookie crumbles. Successfully compete or be silenced by irrelevance.

  • Peacedog||

    Except that is the very issue. Guys like Alex Jones make a lot of money.

    He wasn't dropped by one agency who didn't like him.

    The industry colluded to preclude him from accessing the public write large.

    Just wait. These asshats will next be denying him an ISP.

    And that behavior will preclude a libertarian Twitter alternative.

    The media people want to control the narrative writ large by going back to the days when the big three networks and newspaper controlled everything you saw.

    And these are specifically doing this as they are basically socialists. They don't care about the law or making money.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Collusion" is just another word for "Free Association I don't like". So again, you want to argue this shouldn't be allowed, as some here are don't? You gotta compromise your claimed principles.

    Or to put it another way... Either you accept this can happen, or you argue that social media and ISPs should be regulated as utilities.

  • Peacedog||

    I argue that they need to be sued under Hate Speech laws in order to force them to choose openly.

    They can either uphold free speech, which they clearly don't want to do, or stop supporting "hate speech" altogether which they don't want to do either.

    But this way they will be fully exposed and therefore subjected to market forces. No more hiding behind nebulous publishing standards. No more playing let's pretend on objectivity.

    Force these jerks into the light of day and let them burn. Just the way they've been doing to Christian cake bakers, etc.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Hate speech laws don't exist in the US.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Much like your selective appeal to free association. After all, he should bake the goddamn cake, right?

  • Peacedog||

    I'm not saying Facebook should bake the cake.

    I'm saying they have to tell everyone that they won't bake the cake.

    The same way they forced the issue on a bunch of small businesses. No hiding behind corporate walls and anonymous boards.

    Make them choose sides publicly. Then humiliate the hell out of them by exposing them as hypocrites.

  • Peacedog||

    Facebook shouldn't have to bake the cake. That isn't my point.

    My point is make them publicly choose. Just like they did to a bunch of small businesses.

    No hiding behind anonymous boards or corporate walls.

    Expose them as hypocrites and then humiliate them publicly. Hold them accountable for acting as proponents of selective bigotry and hate mongering.

    Make them do it in front of cameras and in the light of day. Just the way they did to a bunch of people who lacked the resources to hide themselves.

    Hound Zuckerberg in public and shame him, etc. Again, just they way they forced the mob on a bunch of little people.

  • EscherEnigma||

    (A) I've *never* claimed to be a libertarian or any sort of rights absolutionist.
    (B) This isn't about me, ours about the self identified libertarians in the crowd.
    (C) I've gone over it plenty of times before and it's not really relevant here (again, my views admittedly diverge from your own here, but they aren't the topic), but if you really want I can explain my position on non-discrimination laws again. But you'll just call me "statist", "slavder" and so-on, so I'm not sure there much of a point. But if you *really* want, and ask nicely, and I remember to check back, I might outline em again.

  • BYODB||

    Actually, in certain cases, it involves a RICO investigation right? I mean that's a free association some people don't like, right?

    OPEC is one of these types of free association that we don't like, for some reason, but continue to do business with. Strange!

  • Zeb||

    Collusion is a little more specific than that. And isn't necessarily illegal.

  • Azathoth!!||

    "Collusion" is just another word for "Free Association I don't like".

    Tell that to Robert Mueller.

  • Tony||

    What a bonkers day of slapstick it will be when Mueller realizes he's been investigating crimes that don't exist!

    Trump might as well be saying "Neither of my parents was a member of the melon family, thus Mueller should quit." Because even if one of his parents was a cantaloupe, it's not like that's a crime.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I'm rather enjoying all the revelations that are coming out as a result of Mueller's "investigation". I'm learning more and more about how the Deep State operates, and it has helped me identify other Deep State operations.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "Collusion" is just another word for "Free Association I don't like".

    Sounds like something the NFL should tell Kaepernick's lawyers.

  • More Liberty||

    Technically so is price fixing by private companies.

  • Echospinner||

    From what I have seen he makes some money but not all that much compared to other media personalities. His net worth is estimated at 5-7 million. He did give up a lot in the divorce. This will no doubt cause some financial pain for him.

    By comparison since they both started out in radio Howard Stern is worth over 600 million and he also went through a divorce. Just to point out how much potential there is if you do it right.

    The lawsuits, even if they do not succeed he still has a lot of legal fees to pay. The families likely are getting the work done pro bono or on a contingency basis. These are hard to win. I am thinking the lawyers are betting that if they can get it in front of a jury they have a better than good chance. His lawyers would likely do anything to avoid a jury trial and award.

    As has been pointed out it is a business decision. We are talking about Apple, Facebook, You Tube and Spotify. That is one hell of a lot of proven business acumen and success.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    In Texas, he can recover attorney's fees in a suit for libel if he's not found guilty/culpable/or whatever they call it in civil cases.

    It's a slam dunk. He didn't say what they say he did. He did have some people on his show that said that stuff, but he, himself, did not.

  • brady949||

    "The conspiracy theorist and proprietor of far-right fever swamp Infowars was kicked off several social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple."

    Don't forget YouPorn!

  • MikeP2||

    I love how Alex Jones is labeled a "conspiracy theorist" and pilloried for Sandy Hook nonsense when YouTube has long been filled with large numbers of "9-11 was an inside job" conspiracy videos and other lefty nonsense.

    What false flag conspiracy nonsense is more vile? seems like a toss-up of nonsense to me

    This social media collusion to clear out right wing voices is a dangerous game. Any free speech proponent should be very concerned about where this will lead. It may not be the government making laws against speech, but the outcome is the same.

    Let's use a historic analogy... What if all the printing press manufacturers refused to sell equipment to a subset of people? Sure, they could copy by hand, or make their own printing press, but is that in line with what our society expects? A market that picks and chooses customers isn't a free market, regardless of whether its the state picking and choosing. The outcome is the same.

  • Kivlor||

    Here in Libertarian Land we care about principals not principles. As long as it's a private entity and not a government censor, its wonderful

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    This idea of the psychotic Block Yomommatards who apparently run Silicon Valley that they can effectively silence half the nation is one of the biggest mass delusions we've seen in America in recent times.

    They have no clue just how spectacularly this is all going to backfire on them eventually.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Weigel's Rrumpsucker shows his civil war boner again. Fuck me you're one tiresome Contard hillbilly.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    No Balls Hillbilly shows his vagina again.

  • JesseAz||

    Robby was literally defending anti white hate speech 4 days ago.... Weekend cocktail parties corrected his thinking.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    He and Lizzie absolutely suck at pretending to be something they aren't.

    I wish Sarah Jeong would hire their sorry asses already.

  • IceTrey||

    These platforms are protected from certain legal actions as long as they remain neutral. They are opening themselves up to losing that protection. They can't just do what they want even though they are private companies.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    I think there could potentially be grounds for a lawsuit based on their completely fraudulent terms of service.

    Fraud is still illegal, last I checked.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Maybe you should start a platform, Weigel's Bitter Bitchtits. then you can offer up space to the fat, ugly, bald, lying sack of Contarded shit.

  • Headache||

    Yeah, Robby they are private companies, but, the delivery is public. WiFi is through the air, so they are subject to the same rules as broadcast networks. Broadband is public so they are subject to the same rules as cable networks. Because these social media companies operate via public infrastructure, they are required to implement constitutional speech.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    That's the point libertarians keep missing. You're car is private property too, but driving it on public roads subjects you to public traffic laws.

    Facebook may be a private company, but they rely on public infrastructure. I submit that makes them subject to being regulated as a public utility. If Zuckerberg wants to discriminate, let him run his website on his MacBook Pro.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Wifi is an unrestricted part of the spectrum. Anyone can build and sell a wifi transmitter, as long as it doesn't interfere with other users.

    Broadcast spectrum is exclusive. You can't put up an antenna on your roof and broadcast on channel 5.

  • Devastator||

    No they are not. No one said AJ can't express his opinion. He simply can't express it on facebook, youtube, etc. Those are private businesses. Any card carrying libertarian should understand the importance of running a private business. No one is shutting down his web site or radio show, just calling him out on his bullshit. If someone is in my house talking about how fucking awesome Pelosi is and I don't agree with them, I can say "get the fuck out of my house" and they have to go.

  • Headache||

    So, you are implying that Comcast or Fios are free to block facebook, youtube, etc.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Jones is the most weathered looking forty-four year old I have ever seen. He literally looks like he is about to pop and has maybe 10% liver function.

    Does he take all the supplements that he sells? More power to him if he can convince people that he is a walking advertisement for good health, thanks to his supplements.

    His nutso screamings should not be deplatformed. Even if the average person doesn't have sufficient capacity to realize what Jones is doing and is somehow brainwashed by him or spends their life savings on his supplements hoping to be more Jones-like.

  • ||

    This is bad.

    Very bad.

  • Flinch||

    Alex is a bit of a wingnut who goes off half cocked too often. Maybe he should get out of Austin? The progs there might just be driving him nuts - they ruined what would have been a perfectly good lunch for me years back on a visit as they ran their pieholes at 98 decibels and preaching nonsense, barely pausing to breathe. Anyway, the disappointment of mondays trifecta is the collusion: apple, facebook and youtube banning somebody on the same day? Not a coincidence. And what the hell are "community standards" for social media anyway? They look mighty different than the publishing world. If somebody writes a book making wild unprovable accusations the publishing house is somewhat insulated by the first amendment - the writer is the one on the hook primarily. So we are being sold a bill of goods. Case in point, I looked for "sledgehammer accident" on youtube the other day [bored, I guess], and found a cold blooded act of murder dubbed an "accident" to stay under the radar. Two guys lay on the ground [end to end] and a third man smashed various objects all around the first man with spot on precision. Then he moved to the next guy and used the same precision to land a blow bullseyed on his nose, taking him out. So... this first amendment hating cabal pimping "community standards" can shove it where the sun don't shine. War against the first amendment was declared monday in the bowels of tech... that doesn't mean Alex Jones worth listening to, but who's next?

  • ||

    Alex Jones is not more a threat to democracy than loons on the left are. Anyone who thinks this are probably bigger threats.

    Does the fabricated Russian story originating in the doc ranks and eagerly kept alive by certain outlets count as a conspiracy? If it is, isn't that a bigger threat to democracy?

    What a world. An Asian cunt who spews hate about whites (who didn't seem to bother people for some reason) gets a fucken JOB at the NYT, The Young Turks and their team of moronic ignoramuses spewing literally bad facts about history at times are left alone, not to mention they would never have the balls to kick off racists like Farrakhan.

    Somewhere down the line 'wrongthink' will expand.

  • ||

    Last.

    'threat to democracy' has become a term I've added to my list of hated phrases.

    It makes no sense. Is democracy that fragile that ONE person can hurt it?

    Every day we all perform an act or express an opinion that can be construed as a 'threat to democracy'.

    Politicians and media can define a 'threat to democracy' in a manner that leads to suppression of free speech.

    And what of Facebook? It's a data mining scheme. It collects data knowingly, doesn't give a shit it collects date and SELL it. One could argue....'threat to democracy!' no? They were perfectly okay when Obama used their site for his campaign, but it suddenly became a bad thing when Trump did.

    Wake up already.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Is democracy that fragile that ONE person can hurt it?

    Hitler would probably say yes.
    I think Orban would as well.
    Erdogan.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hitler undermined democracy at every turn. He was never elected into office.

    Even his Nazi Party was never elected into a majority. The Nazis combined with the other types of Socialists to form the government.

  • ||

    American democracy, I think, is far more stable and stronger than those two examples.

  • Hangionut||

    When "hate speech" is used as a reason to censor anyone that is not breaking the law, all credibility is lost. If you believe in free speech and a free press, you have to believe that "hate speech" is a misnomer. People say hateful things....make despicable and untrue claims, etc. That must be tolerated and derided for what it is, but not silenced. Attempting to silence such things leaves open the door for someone to silence thoughts you hold dear, and are accurate but disliked.

  • Sparky Wilson||

    Hate speech is a matter of opinion and persuasions and is therefor a bunch of bs.

  • Sparky Wilson||

    Taking Jones down isn't about hate speech or free speech. It is about silencing those with which we disagree. I don't like Jones. I'd believe the old Coast to Coast AM stuff over him. But he is someone they can ban without much fuss. But, once it calms down, then they can ban another, and another. The right has some pretty radical stuff, but the left is just as bad. The lefts won't get banned though.

    Is banned spelled with one "n" or two? Wish there was some way to go about quickly and easily finding info on things. Guess I should go scour Facebook and see if there is any click bait that covers that topic and can tell me.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, the Purges are just starting.

  • Echospinner||

    Coast to Coast AM is awesome. At least it was when I used to listen to it. Art Bell was a genius.

    That is all fun and games, Bigfoot, crop circles, UFO stuff and he made it into an entertaining show.

  • Devastator||

    He's not banned, he just can't facebook/twitter/youtube. He's still got a website and radio show.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    This is a stupid take and you should probably rethink it.

  • ||

    Phew!

    Let freedom of speech reign!

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The definition of 'Hate Speech' is nebulous. It's very clear; Any speech we (the Progressive Left) Hate.

    In other words the arguments for banning 'Hate Speech' are simply more proof that they are elitist scumbag wannabe Aristocrats.

  • ThomasD||

    Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

  • ThomasD||

    Rico is probably too young to recognize the source of that one.

  • Hangionut||

    When "hate speech" is used as a reason to censor anyone that is not breaking the law, all credibility is lost. If you believe in free speech and a free press, you have to believe that "hate speech" is a misnomer. People say hateful things....make despicable and untrue claims, etc. That must be tolerated and derided for what it is, but not silenced. Attempting to silence such things leaves open the door for someone to silence thoughts you hold dear, and are accurate but disliked.

  • Cloudbuster||

    No one will miss Infowars, but that's beside the point.

    Robby never forgets his virtue signal!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Soave just got his next Cosmo party invite based on that tag line!

  • Khal Spencer||

    The other issue is that FB, Twitter, etc, are the functional public square in spite of being owned by private companies. Leaving private companies to police speech in the modern virtual public square has concerns. For example, the anti-gun crowd will object to anything said by the NRA or various gun groups, even if their speech lacks incitement, vulgarity, or violence. Simply talking pro-gun is seen as objectionable in some circles.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Don't like it? Start your own. How's Gab working out?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    A 95% surtax on all Google and Facebook revenue would probably go a long way to reducing the deficit.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Stay smug. You won't get banned.

  • Devastator||

    Doesn't matter, being own by a private company means they get to choose who they allow to use their resources. Otherwise we're just another communist country. Property owners have rights. No one is stopping jones from setting up his own facebook or youtube.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Doesn't matter, being own by a private company means they get to choose who they allow to use their resources.

    Hey dumbass, these companies have been claiming for years that they are merely "platforms." If they are colluding to deplatform people (and only right-wing ones, natch), that doesn't make them platforms, it makes them content providers--and it means they can be regulated into the ground.

  • ThomasD||

    No, they cannot be regulated. Because they are good and harming them would be double plus ungood.

    Not like Disney firing Barr, which was not good, but alright because she was not good.

    It's more like Disney firing Gunn, which was ungood, even though he was supportive of Disney firing Barr.

    Because reasons.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    No one will miss Infowars, but that's beside the point.

    Wait, doesn't Alex Jones command viewers measured in the millions?

  • Nardz||

    "Wait, doesn't Alex Jones command viewers measured in the millions?"

    They're not people. Not like the tolerant and saintly progressives Robby shoe shines for

  • Devastator||

    They can go to his website, that's not going anywhere.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "He can still print out flyers and staple them on lampposts! No one is taking away his rights!"

  • ||

    Until Google starts to block people from doing so.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I can't help but worry that the bans—which were aimed at curbing Jones' hate speech, not his spread of fake news, according to the statements of the various companies

    They can't ban him for "fake news", they can ONLY ban him for hate speech.

    There's a logic to this. If Youtube/FriendFace/Tweetbook etc. start banning for Fake News, then they get in the business of fact checking everything that comes out of everyone's mouth, and they'll be hammered with "consistency complaints" for every news source, mainstream or no. And correctly so. So all they can do is ban him for vague hate speech guidelines. It seems we're now seeing the real value in hate speech: You can't define it so it means whatever I say it means when I need to wield the accusation against someone I want kicked off a platform.

  • Happy Chandler||

    They already are having the conservative whiners crying to them. They hired John Kyl to write a report.

    They buckled down to the conservative whiners who complained that the editorial team was biased. They tried to go with an algorithmic method that wasn't ready for prime time and it blew up in their face.

  • Happy Chandler||

    They already are having the conservative whiners crying to them. They hired John Kyl to write a report.

    They buckled down to the conservative whiners who complained that the editorial team was biased. They tried to go with an algorithmic method that wasn't ready for prime time and it blew up in their face.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Diane, you ignorant slut. They ARE banning him for "fake news", i.e., telling the truth, they just SAY that it is for "hate speech". (We can tell because they leave up much, Much, MUCH more hateful speech by leftists that they like)

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "Social Justice Columnist".

    Haha, most media types are WARRIORS- Social Justice Warriors!

  • bournite||

    Alex Jones has evolved into an obnoxious goofball, sure, but his record as an internet force bears further scrutiny. He owes his rise to a focus on the in Waco, 1993. Clinton had only been president for 39 days at the time. Stephen Higgins, the ATF director who was fired for the raid, wrote an op-ed published in the Washington Post July 2, 1995. In it, he justifies the assault on the basis of an unnamed "former resident of the compound" who said David Koresh was hoping for an armed confrontation. Now, would a Reason employee want the government staging a daylight raid on a building with a majority of women and children, especially if one of them were related to himself, in it under these circumstances? Since we've learned the ATF had numerous self-interested reasons for going ahead with cover blown on that day. None of them involved the safety of innocent occupants of the buildings. It's a point made by many others, besides Jones, who covered the tragedy. The lesson seems to be lost. The failed tactics of April 19, 1993 haven't been abolished. In the meantime, prior to Infowars alignment with Trump, the site compiled the most comprehensive archive of law enforcement abuse videos available anywhere. Its Police State section was abandoned some months into Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The two developments appear to be related. So far as I know there is no present website that acts as an adequate replacement. The world is in sore need of one.

  • bournite||

    Second sentence should read "the incident in Waco, 1993." How do you edit here?

  • NoVaNick||

    Infowars had some good stuff on it, but Jones kept pushing that chemtrails nonsense, so lost most of his credibility with me.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No edit. Once you submit, you must commit.

  • Tony||

    "Once you submit, you must commit."

    Said Donald to Ivana sometime during his lucid years.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Said Hillary to Bill when she strapped on!

  • Devastator||

    He might have had some integrity a long time ago, but now his show serves as a platform to hock hokey nutritional supplements.

  • Ludom||

    "Private companies are under no obligation to provide a platform to Sandy Hook conspiracy theorizing, 9/11 trutherism, or any of the other insane ideas Jones has propagated." Facebook is not a private company it is publicly traded under FB on the NASDAQ. =)

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Publicly traded, privately owned.

  • Devastator||

    It's still a business, and businesses get to do what they want with their web sites

  • David Nolan||

    Masterful. Took both opposing positions at once.

  • Flinch||

    Both? Social media is so big there may be a dozen positions - consider China's first, as their supply chain is tech's weak link and has more heft than any internal company policy at the end of the day. But here's the curveball: will SCOTUS reach for new fabric and declare social media a public accomodation? Ginsberg is still on the court, so legal hallucinations are not unthinkable. That would leave companies scratching for a ratings system, and creating user filters that users can block content as they choose? Never know with the courts - they could do something really off the wall and apply the ADA [since left and right both view each other as crazy using different metrics], to arrive at a 'discrimination' finding that addresses the wrong issue, but "solves" the problem by falling into it sideways. Courts do love jamming a square peg through a round hole, seems to me - cleverness is their entertainment.

  • BunkerBill||

    Establishment 'Libertarians' like establishment 'Conservatives' know their places, they may complain but will never question the right of the Left to censer them in anyway it chooses.

  • ||

    "

    I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." --Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820
  • More Liberty||

    Private companies have the right to burn books on their shelves. That's what have done and will continue to do. It's not about AJ or Ron Paul. These companies are simply burning books, newspapers and articles.

  • Fred G. Sanford||

    No one will miss Info Wars? Trump supporters will.

  • Josh Melton||

    Didn't InfoWars break the Monica Lewinsky scandal? They actually do a bit of news in between conspiracies.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We certainly wont miss the NYT and WaPo and other socialist propaganda rags.

  • More Liberty||

    That's be freakin' funny if the social media companies banned Reason. I doubt they will anytime soon considering Reason tows the party line.

  • BunkerBill||

    "First they came for...", they will not stop until all dissenting voices are silenced, they will get to Reason in time.

  • Rockabilly||

    ANTIFA, the masked and violent communist terror group has multiple facebook accounts.

    Here's one.

    https://www.facebook.com/berkeleyantifa/

    Of course, Facebook has the right to host ANTIFA, a violent communist terror group.

  • Devastator||

    They have the right to host Alex Jones, they just choose not to. Private business and all that.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    So that means we can tell faggots to go find another bakery?

  • FreeTempe||

    A pathetic act of desperation to cling to a MSM complex run by a deep state.

    Info ward app is crushing right now and will continue.

    Threat to democracy LOL we are not s democracy

    Threat to Republic? Nope

    Threat to power structure Absolutely!!!

    Watch when POTUS declassifies FISA app.

  • ||

    Alex Jones was also kicked off Youporn. I'm trying to get my head around why Alex Jones would be providing content of ANY kind to a porn site.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dj8qX6uX0AE9UqP.jpg

  • ranrod||

    ALEX JONES IS ADMITTED ACTOR

    NOW WOULD ONE OF YOU LEFTIST PLEASE WRITE AN ARTICLE POSTING YOUR UNCONSTITUTIONAL HATE LAWS!

  • Bruce Hall||

    I agree that radical white supremacists should be banned from social media, email services, and web hosting services. That also applies to other "hate speech" groups such as Antifa, Black Panthers/BLM, Islamist/Jihad groups... and, of course, anyone who disagrees with my moderate opinions.

    After all, we wouldn't want to tax our minds trying to defend our positions.

  • XM||

    As recently as late last year, there were Youtube 9/11 conspiracy videos that alleged that the WTC terror attacks were an inside job. It essentially accuses the federal government (and by extension George Bush) or killing their own people or covering up intentional acts. One of their points was that only an coordinated bombing from the inside (like how old buildings are imploded) could have resulted in the towers collapsing in that fashion.

    Did the tech companies and social media platforms remove all these videos in one fell swoop? I'm not holding my breath.

    Robby worries that companies will apply their nebulous hate speech standard selectively, but he also cautions the "mob" against holding the other side to their own standard. How does that work? We can just stop hypocrisy by pointing out to it?

    I've heard Alex Jones on radio a few times out of curiosity. He's arguably tamer than someone like Michael Savage. He strikes me as a anti authoritarian, "fight the illuminati" figure in the mold of Ron Paul. I would like to see the videos in which threatened violence or hate speech. I'm guessing he said gay marriage is bad for kids or something and the algorithm caught it.

  • Concerned Citizen CA||

    CFR - Code of Federal Regulations

    These tech giants more than likely fall under these regs. Their 100 page "terms of service" won't keep them out of CFR obligations.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/4.3

    They are creating an artificial, imposed outage:

    (a)Outage is defined as a significant degradation in the ability of an end user to establish and maintain a channel of communications as a result of failure or degradation in the performance of a communications provider's network.

    One EO from President Trump instructing the FCC and all relevant Federal Departments to enforce these CFR's on the tech giants and there will be an earthquake in San Jose. Even if it's not held up in court.

  • Flinch||

    The tech world [silicon valley] has always viewed itself superior [and different] than the telco world. Before fax & computer modems came along, 99% of any phone company could give a rip about knowing half duplex from full duplex - that was radio. Networks aren't a communications provider [in the telco sense of 20th century law regulating telephony, but dance in similar circles using similar hardware], and social media platforms seem free and clear of this encumberment as users setup accounts/post for free. I'm no pro on the subject, but sounds like you are saying if tech gets declared a utility, then they do get swept under the telco tent? That would be a mother of a legal fight - failing would likely break monetization structure and reduce revenue to something more limited, as in monthly fees for accounts. Something going viral becomes more of a burden in that environment I would suspect, and... it could make the internet suck.

  • Rob Misek||

    This is absolutely about free speech.

    The ONLY speech that should be criminalized is lying.

    Lying causes real harm by misinforming others to make decisions they wouldn't if they knew the truth. If something isn't based on a lie, it isn't hatred.

    Speech isn't free if people that don't like what you say can censor you in public. You don't have a right if people can persecute you for exercising it.

    Yes, this IS about free speech.

  • Devastator||

    But Alex Jones lies all the time...

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    He was deplatformed for "hate speech", not lying, you dumb piece of shit.

  • Rob Misek||

    If that were true and lying was a crime as it should be,then he would find himself in the company of politicians, lawyers and most people.

    There is no hatred that isn't based on a lie.

  • Enemy of the State||

    What would you bet the same people justifying not doing business with someone for political reasons are the same ones demanding cakes be made by people with religious objections to gay marriage?

    The implication is that religious objections are not as just or righteous as political objections...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Actually, of course, what it means is that politics has become their religion, and they mean to impose a theocracy.

  • 1allen23||

    Where is the proof of Alex's hate speech? How about some damned samples. It does not matter that these are publicly traded corporations, not private companies. The government uses these tech giants to do their dirty work. Google, micro soft, face book, you tube are all on the government payroll. All disenting voices will be silenced one by one. You don't agree with, or have a different view point then the prevailing Hitler main stream story? You are in their cross hairs. If you haven't been to infowars.com then you are not getting the true story. If you depend on the Hitler fake news media for all your info, you are being manipulated. Go to you tube and look for "fake news stories from CNN, ABC, MSNBC etc... There are literally hundreds of news videos where the big news casters faked the stories and got caught, a lot of them before Trump was elected. The main stream Hitler news media are the conspiracy networks. Example: For 18 months now the Hitler news media have been claiming every day that, "We have Trump now" or "Trump is in trouble now", or "our unnamed sources" etc.. and every day it turns out to be lies. If just 1% of what the Hitler news media was true then Trump would be gone already. Their is your proof that the Hitler news media is controlling you. If you don't agree with my assessment, then where the H E L L do you get your info from everyday?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Hate speech is whatever I say it is. Read the TOS.

  • Flinch||

    That's how I read fakebooks alleged policy. Wish they just declared themselves an "at will" provider, and skipped the pretense of having policy at all. Make their motto "Here today, and maybe tomorrow". Customer complaints? "To press 5... press 5. To hear this message again, press 5"

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Publicly traded, privately owned.

  • Rob Misek||

    To the censors, conspirators, of course it can't be about free speech and it can't be about lying.

    That's why we need to keep the focus on both.

    Criminalize lying and empower everyone to digitally record their memories everywhere they go. The risk and repercussions will eliminate lying and change the world overnight.

  • Josh Melton||

    Mr Soave; two concerns emerge from this activity. 1) When corporations such as these begin to see everything as "content" versus speech, how do we trust them not to censor? We already know shadow bans are in play, that Google alters search results and that Bezos bought the Washington Post. Does this all come together in the interest of first amendment rights, or the rights of these corporations to regulate content? Do these companies become publicly accountable to protections such as housing, hiring, etc...? Maybe this just works itself out. 2) Either way, all speech is malleable according to the perspective of those who hear it. If an awful word is spoken in the woods, and nobody hears it, is it still an awful word? In retrospect, some of the greatest speech in history was unwelcome on the day it was spoken. Today, we are too ignorant to judge the morality of speech without the context of history. Attempting to do so is emotional nonsense.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There may be something to this. A 2A supporter tracked down and translated a bunch of National Socialist Kristallnacht gun laws. It is practically impossible to find those on a search engine unless you know they appeared in American Rifleman. Pink doublethink outlets like the Wikipeedia struggle to dismiss the very idea that Hitler's religious conservatives ever passed gun control legislation. The documendacity is easily found; the articles aren't.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    FYI, the National Firearm ins Act of 1934 is almost exactly translated in Hitler's Gun Registration Act of '36 (or '38?). Section for section. Uncanny. Must be a coincidence.

  • yiddishlion||

    Leftists lose all credibility and those who claim to be neutral are exposed as liars with the fact that these things happen exclusively to Republicans, conservatives and anyone who expresses an opinion opposing liberal narrative.

  • TeamsterX||

    Let's see, Jeong, the new Opinion Writer posts hate speech to Twitter....no problem....Candace Owens posts jeong's tweets word for word, but substitutes Black/Jewish with White....

    Get's suspended.

    What a load of crap.

  • ||

    And people who complained about this would be characterized as 'snowflakes'. Heck, Robby would probably argue along the lines that she's just as bad as the lefties running social media for merely making a point.

    I mentioned Jeong up top. SHE GOT A JOB for her racist rants.

    I can't believe any of this is happening.

  • LastChanceForLiberty||

    It's absurd the amount of traction this (ban support) is gaining with people. The MSM was getting their butts handed to them by Jones and the like. Their recourse? Lobby .GOV to regulate them, Coordinated drum beat of MSM conspiracies. Far too many people drank the koolaid here.

    Well executed plan, but in the end it will fail. The box has been opened and there is no going back.

    the Republic is strengthened by those who will question the official narratives.

  • Modus Pwnens||

    Facebook doesn't actually need a reason to ban people from its platform. It can take virtually any action it thinks will improve the user experience. It could ban all conservatives tomorrow if it so desired.

    As long as they don't refuse to assist in a gay wedding, right Robby?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    What I get from all this fuss:

    When you're taking flak, it means you're over the target.

    Whatever Alex Jones was doing, the Deep State HATES.

  • Devastator||

    Whatever AJ is doing everyone who isn't a dupe hates.

  • Helmeteye||

    LIKED! Kyfho, isn't it weird that all the tech giants jumped at the same time? Personally I believe it there are two reasons. They are trying to get into the Chinese market and this is a practice run. I also believe the autocrats in Europe are still trying to define hate speech and ways to make these websites accountable. Even using the Orwellian term "hate speech" gives me nausea

  • Echospinner||

    Nah here is what happens I do not know who was first. Four companies, Apple, Facebook, You Tube (owned by Alphabet/Google), and Spotify which just went public.

    So you have three big guns, really big, and a smaller one. Apple alone can cost you your reserves and still not even feel it if they lose.

    News travels fast in that world. When someone jumps into the pond and says the water is great so do the rest of the guys.

    That is not a conspiracy. That is just business.

    But I am a capitalist. If anyone here wants the government to take over internet content go ahead and try. Wait until the next government takes over and see what happens.

  • vek||

    Bullshit that this isn't coordinated. A few weeks back during congressional testimony Alex Jones was SPECIFICALLY named as somebody they didn't like. It was not a coincidence that he got kicked off of every major platform in a single day. If you really believe that I have some ocean front property to sell you in Kansas...

  • THE DRONE WHISPERER||

    Most absurdly adolescent pitched article yet written by a Reason contributor. I now ban Reason.com & Reason the magazine.

  • Devastator||

    I figured it was more about the rights of a private business to do business with whomever they want to do business with.

  • aajax||

    I don't have a problem with Facebook etc. giving the boot to antisocial behavior. I wish they could do more of it, but the manpower requirements are probably pretty steep. But by not doing it, they have allowed themselves to become shithole web sites, and people are dropping off, especially teens with half a brain. It's happening to a lot of sites that are trying to be "politically correct" about protecting "free speech". Screw that. If that's what you want, start your own site, and good luck with it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Uh oh, CNN got the boot from FB for fake news.

    Looks like the pendulum is swinging.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You forgot the /sarc

  • Echospinner||

    Teens for the most part all have half a brain. Facebook knows they are moms social media site. How well they do is purely a business consideration. They are sitting on enough cash and revenue to move forward if they make the right moves or they could just go the way of MySpace.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Fat, bald, lying fuckface got what was coming to him.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Did this get linked at the Federalist ,Brietard or Daily Stormer. Hard to tell, with so many freshly minted Contard fuckheads commenting here today.
    Go back to fucking your goats, Trumpsuckers.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The troll is back after a short visit to the looney bin.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Nice to see you took a break from getting ass-raped by your father, shitlib.

    When the Day of the Rope sees you and your kind swinging, it's going to be a great day.

  • KarlRKaiser||

    The fact that these are private companies with the "right" to censor is not the point. Their censorship is an attempt to control discourse and manipulate public opinion by creating the impression of false consensus through removing voices of dissent.

    That is sinister and suppressive of speech no matter how you justify it. You should be calling out the suppression, and because you do not I'm no longer following your rag.

  • Echospinner||

    Nope.

    Do they allow porn and sex pics? Do they allow art?

    Facebook had an issue and still does deciding which is which. Not an easy call. There are no objective definitions.

    Well art is art and east is east... you know the Groucho quote.

    How is this different? They are protecting their brand.

    Going away is a good choice if libertarian values are not your thing.

  • vek||

    I could believe you if it weren't for EVERY OTHER PIECE OF INFO known about how Google/YouTube, FB, etc have been doing shit. There is clear bias in their actions. When leftists actually calling for violence are perfectly free to be on YouTube, yet right leaning people merely saying we should enforce our immigration laws as written are committing "hate speech" there's a fucking problem in there.

    After the election FB changed their algorithms to limit referrals to "fake news," which ended up with mainstream right of center websites, boring mainstream shit like Gateway Pundit, losing 90%+ of their referrals. But not CNN, or NYT, or anything else.

    Shadow banning, specifically kicking people off for the same offenses left leaning people don't get touched for, you could go on forever. Their bias is so painfully obvious only a blind man couldn't see it.

    Just because they're a private company doesn't mean they can't be doing shitty things. I may respect the fact that it should be legal for Zuckerberg to be a biased steaming pile of human shit, but that doesn't mean I think it is right, fair, or a good thing.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "Libertarian values" shouldn't involve applauding when your enemies openly suppress the opinions of others on the flimsiest pretexts.

    I guess you're okay with someone putting their boot on your neck as long as it's not the government.

  • Tomnel141||

    Well said. Good points. There is much more to be brought to bear on this whole matter than this Reason editorial presents.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Another article suitably soave and deboner, yet totally wasted on a faecepuke scatfight between Alex (a Tea Party whacko) and the entrenched Kleptocracy and corporations it intimidates. Propaganda mills such as Homeland already target Jones, and I have schadenfreude--not sympathy--for all parties in that mystical conservative zoo. After 30-odd years' residence in Austin, Jones is as familiar and useless as William Jennings Bryan was to my grandparents. The relevance to the LP is that the tactics used on Alex Jones will target Reason and the LP once our vote share doubles again to 7%. It only took the socialists 9% of the 1892 ballot to inject the communist manifesto income tax into the Democratic platform. Looters are keenly aware of the law-changing clout of insurgent party spoiler votes.

  • Echospinner||

    The whole thing is a deboner. Gotta agree with that.

  • Helmeteye||

    Wrong-think will not and should not be tolerated. The AI knows wrong-think when it scans it.

  • Flinch||

    There's something incoherent alright, and it's probably fakebooks policy which drifts and meanders like an oil slick on the open ocean: you can't quite tell where things may go in any given hour. Now that I think about it, their policy reminds me of a lava lamp in it's penchant for movement, brief pauses, and occasionally spectacular inversions. Basically their policy is a chameleon you can't touch - even as they lie to you and tell you your content is "yours". We know what it will do generally [by intuition], but can never chart it's accurate trajectory ahead of time. Policy is useless in gauging the company's true perspective or mission as best I can tell, and Zuckerbergs congressional testimony dimmed that bulb even further.
    But the cabal of hyperventilating SJW's behind social media companies pavlovian response has convinced me to do something I had never thought to do before: I'm going to listen to Alex for an entire week. I know I can make it because I used to listen to Bill Press when he had a radio show... just to exercise my patience. Let me tell you that was rough: I can't hear "farschein bitte" and not think of him to this day. He ruined the phrase to a point it no longer seems german to me.

  • Martiandawn||

    By banning user content that is offensive but not illegal, these social media companies have implicitly assumed responsibility for third party content posted on their sites. Through this action they cease to be "platforms" and become "publishers," losing the liability immunity they enjoyed under the Communications Decency Act. Though as publishers they enjoy certain protections under the First Amendment, sacrificing their liability immunity leaves them vulnerable to lawsuits for hosting third party content that others find libelous or harmful.

  • Harold||

    I have a unique [for today's snowflakes] idea! How about; "Let's grow up!'

    WE need to mature to the level at which I was reared. "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Or, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

    By 69 years old, I have been called everything except, :child of God." I GOT OVER IT!

    A great Christian commentator of ages past once said most of the worlds problems are because people value themselves more than they are really worth. I hear the current B $ about, know yourself. If, LIKE ME, you know that you are as worthless as a bucket of warm spit, nothing can hurt you!

    We need to get rid of this "hate speech" drivel. Grow UP! EVERY crime is a "hate crime!" Pick yourself back up, and move on.

    The way I have always looked at it, and other folks never understood, what you call me reflects more against you, than me! I got over it!

  • UncleSam13||

    I see you've spoken for yourself Robby.

  • vek||

    A couple things:

    1. AJ is very much NOT a bigot. He married a Jew, and half his staff is Jewish, much to the displeasure of white nationalists. He's also gone out of his way to have lots of blacks, Hispanics, gays, etc around.

    To use this as the excuse to ban him is completely disingenuous to anybody who knows anything about him. He just has political opinions they don't like. Things like we should enforce our immigration laws, that Muslim immigrants are orders of magnitude more likely to blow up your children than Japanese immigrants, guns are good, stuff like that. Then he has his more conspiracy minded stuff too. But mostly he's a weird combo of trad-con and right-libertarian.

    2. Anybody who doesn't see this as a test case by the leftist establishment is a fool. They've been banning SMALL people for years that were not doing anything illegal, and letting leftists saying the same types of things slide. AJ is a test case because like it or not, he is HUGE. He probably has 1000 times the views that Reason has, literally.

  • vek||

    They know if they can shit can AJ, then they can shit can anybody they want. Ron Paul? Definitely a Nazi, remember those newsletters? Gone! Tucker Carlson? He's a Nazi who spews hate speech! He's gone! Ben Shapiro? He's a Nazi too now, despite him being Jewish, because he has wrong think on XYZ subject! GONE!

    Don't believe it? Milo gets called a Nazi, even though he's part Jewish. Same thing has happened to one of AJs Jewish employees. They're LITERALLY that insane.

    Make no mistake, that is where this is going. They're doing it this minute because they're afraid of losing the mid terms. We'll see how nuts they get in the lead up to that, but this is terrifying long term. Just because Big Brother is listed on the NASDAQ doesn't make it any less scary.

    Facebook is a private company, but they're a private company that brings in more money than many countries. To ignore powerful men abusing their power is foolish. Perhaps it should be legal, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't get called out on it and shamed publicly.

  • Headache||

    Here is some hate speech -

    Zuckerberg - Thief; stole the concept and code which later became Facebook. Paid 25 million to settle law suit.

    Jobs - Thief; stole icons and image concepts which are the backbone of Apple products. Pays Xerox licensing fees after law suit.

    Gates - Thief; walked away from IBM with code and documentation of PCDOS. Secretly partnered with a San Diego firm Digital Research Inc. to produce MSDOS. IBM did not aggressively pursue.

    All true. All billionaires. No action taken by government.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    Seeing as how Jones has a boatload of Jewish conspiracy theories (like tying them to 9/11) and hates Israel, I don't buy that Jones being "married a Jew, and half his staff is Jewish" crap. That's just like the bigot saying, "Some of my best friends are Jewish."

    That being said, the final report on Sandy Hook issued by Connecticut's AG is bullshit in claiming that Adam Lanza was the lone gunman at SH. The Connecticut CSI's took DNA samples from every part of the AR-15 (including the ammo in the chamber and magazine) they allegedly found next to Lanza's body and NONE of it matched Lanza's DNA profile! They took DNA samples from the duct tape used to fasten two magazines together and found mixed DNA samples NONE of which matched Lanza's profile.

    How the hell would several people's DNA be found on the inside of the duct tape which should ONLY have had Lanza's DNA is he was, in fact, the lone shooter?

    Besides his anti-Semitic sh*t, my main problem with Jones is that he's a terrible researcher who never bothers to corroborate his stories.

  • ConstitutionFirst||

    If Alex Jones is hate speech than so is Mad Maxine Waters, "Reverend" Jeramia Jones (God Damn America infamy), Nancy Pelosy, Hillary Clinton, Peter Fonda, Harry Reid (for publicly hating half the country)... and while we're at it CNN the Washington ComPost and NYT... for their "jail/kill climate deniers" policy among many other such extreme positions, like hating half the country.

    First they came for Alex Jones.... who will speak up for you, when they come for you?

    By (evil) google, twitter, youtube, spotify et.el. all banning Jones on the same day, it sure stinks like conspiracy. This is an unprecedented assault on free speech by private individuals.

    It pays to notice, if you are trying to debunk a conspiracy theorist, don't make your actions look like a conspiracy.

  • Mark22||

    Facebook doesn't actually need a reason to ban people from its platform. It can take virtually any action it thinks will improve the user experience. It could ban all conservatives tomorrow if it so desired.

    Not if it wants to keep its safe harbor provisions. Right now, Facebook can say when someone libels someone else on Facebook "we aren't responsible for content, we just transmit information people hand us".

    If Facebook starts kicking off people based on the content of their speech, then Facebook is exercising control over content and starts being liable for everything people publish on their platform.

    They can't have it both ways.

  • Mark22||

    Jones is a thoroughly unsympathetic victim. The things he says on his podcast and publishes on its website are vile.

    The few times I've heard Alex Jones, he sounded prone to hyperbole, but I didn't hear anything "vile". Nor did I see anything "vile" on his web site when I just checked it.

    He is currently being sued for libel by families of the Sandy Hook victims for airing claims that the attack was a false flag operation organized by the U.S. government. Libel is a category of speech that is not protected under the First Amendment

    The US government has done a lot of shitty, murderous stuff throughout the past 200 years. Being able to accuse them freely without being thrown in jail has been one of the strengths of US democracy. Now, I don't believe Sandy Hook was a "false flag", but I certainly believe people have every right of accusing the US government of such misconduct without being thrown in jail.

    Robby, you are an unsympathetic, dishonest character, and wanting to throw people in jail for free speech is pretty vile of you.

  • vek||

    Exactly. I've been a long time, but very minimal, AJ listener.

    99% of what the media has said about him is either an outright lie, or a gross exaggeration. He has some crazy ass ideas, no arguing against that. But even most of the "crazy things" he says are spun to the point of being an entirely different meaning than what he actually said by the MSM.

    Like he'll say "Look it's possible XYZ thing might have had government involvement, who friggin' knows!" The MSM will then turn that into "Alex Jones said Obama personally directed this crazy evil attack, what a nut!" or whatever. Some of it is just insanely out of context too. Like he's said stuff obviously in jest, and then they quote it as being a serious statement.

    It's the same shit they do with Trump, or a million other people they don't like. His actual "conspiracy theories" are often not as crazy as they seem, since he doesn't even claim 100% that many of them are XYZ, merely that stuff is fishy and it could be XYZ.

    But he is definitely not a bigot, white nationalist, Nazi, homophobe, or any of that kind of shit. It is funny to see how many supposedly "smart" libertarians have basically bought the propaganda put out against this guy though. He's weird, and wrong about plenty, but many have bought the lies about him hook, line, and sinker.

  • onebornfree||

    "...Jones is a thoroughly unsympathetic victim. The things he says on his podcast and publishes on its website are vile. He is currently being sued for libel by families of the Sandy Hook victims for airing claims that the attack was a false flag operation organized by the U.S. government...."

    Jjust where the fuck did Reason drag up this Robby Soave clown from? .

    If he/she/it had ever bothered to actually research what Jones did/did not say on his shows regarding Sandy Hook, instead of blindly assuming that what 99.9% of the MSM [and fake "alternative" media] say he said, was true, he/she/it would know that the current lawsuits against Jones are all frivolous, merely designed to distract him, weaken him financially etc. etc.

    FACT: Jones never claimed Sandy Hook was a fake event [which is in fact contrary to my own opinion]. All he has said to date is that there was a coordinated police stand down, [for whatever reason].

    Robby Soave, whoever, whatever you are, grow the fuck up wake the fuck up!

    No regards, onebornfree. "Onebornfree's Special Scam Alerts": http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/

  • ||

    How easily they forget Masterpiece Cake decision when it flies against what they want.

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    Fuck you, Reason, "I will shed no tears for Jones." Just a FYI, Jones never said he believed that the people at Sandy Hook were "Crisis Actors" that is fucking bullshit and Reason knows it. Since facebook, youtube etc. has banned Jones it made me actually WANT to watch his videos and rants to defy them. Fuck them.

  • Mombasa||

    No it's about closing down anybody that disagrees or questions the fake liberal agenda.

    Free Speech means you are allowed to question what the main media/or governments say.
    Many people have fought and died in many wars, protested and died, it's been a long hard road to be able to have these rights.

    Now you want to close it down, anyone that disagrees with you.

    Many of us don't live in censored China or Russia... That's what we are slowly turning into.

  • Rob Misek||

    That "our brothers died for free speech" narrative has served its purpose..

    The elite have used their unholy hordes of money to control the narrative on EVERY platform.

    If you envy everything they have, capitalist, then embrace only their politically correct speech.

    Socialists are already doing it.

    The problem is son, that you've taken your eye off the ball.

  • TxJack 112||

    It is about the selective enforcement of the rules related to "community standards" imposed by FB. Jones was taken down for making dehumanizing, hateful statements about specific groups of people and propagating outlandish conspiracy theories as fact. However, the page for Louis Farrakhan has the same type of content on his FB page accusing Jews and white of insane conspiracies to oppress blacks as well as objecting to interacial marriage because it "mongrelizes" the black community, especially if they marry Jews. His hate is very clear and unrepentant yet his page remains on FB. Clearly the standards only apply to conservative or right of center content

  • ThomasD||

    "No one will miss Infowars, but that's beside the point."

    Yep, that's why things get banned, because nobody is paying attention.

    Look, I don't know who follows Jones, but it would appear that the answer is greater than 'no one.'

    So, what Robby really means is "nobody I give a shit about will miss Infowars."

    To which I say: That's entirely the point of protecting speech, so go fuck yourself you worthless pencil necked twit.

  • vek||

    AJ probably has literally 1000 times the reach of Reason magazine.

    He's like a Rush Limbaugh (from when he was relevant), Tucker Carlson, and Art Bell all rolled into one unstoppable right wing media machine.

    He is pretty entertaining to watch/listen to in shortish bursts actually. He's also right about 95% of stuff, which is to say things like size/scope of government, foreign wars being bad, spending needs to be cut, etc etc etc.

    That he's a little zany on the last 5% still makes him far more sane, rational, realistic, and factual than CNN/MSNBC/Etc, OR EVEN Reason itself is. Robby is just trying to be smug in his ivory tower like most journalists do... Not realizing that Jones actually has a bigger and fancier tower than he does!

  • siempre44||

    In the modern world, this is political censureship. Alex Jones doesNot have hate speech. It has speech that Democrats hate to see. The Democrats and media just label all the investigative sites not owned by Democrats as "hate". The
    This is just censorship .

  • Ram0166||

    When they banned Infowars I didn't care because I didn't like Alex Jones. But when they banned Reason I screamed at the top of my lungs "This is censorship!" but no one heard me because I didn't have a platform anymore.

    The vagueness of the definition of "hate speech" is design, not incompetence. It has never had a definition because it's nothing more than a political label that Progressives slap on any speech they do not want heard. The dumb ass Marxist Libertarians at Reason still think the left wants to have a debate over the merits our competing ideas. The dumb ass Marxist Libertarians at Reason don't realize that they have been contributing to the left's slow demise of the West by subscribing to their arguments, such as labeling other people's expressions as hate speech, racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, etc... By doing so they take part in the deception and the oppression.

    The left Libertarians need to stop siding with the Progressives by accepting their phony labels and excuses and side with those of us who actually believe in freedom. Once you have fed all those Republicans and Christians you hate so much to the collectivist tiger there won't be anyone left to help when they come for you.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > No one will miss Infowars, but that's beside the point.

    No one except the dozens of millions that follow Infowars on FB, YouTube, etc.

    This article wasn't about the incoherence of "hate speech", it's a demonstration of the incoherence of Robby.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    > I can't help but worry that the bans—which were aimed at curbing Jones' hate speech, not his spread of fake news, according to the statements of the various companies—signal an intention to police harmful speech under a definition that is nebulous and likely to be applied selectively.

    Utter complete and absolute bullshit. This is 100,000% an attack on the CONTENT of Inforwars, not at all the manner (hateful) in which they present it. The left/Deep State has lost control of the narrative, and they are shitting their pants. There are more extreme exponents of Liberty, but Alex Jones has the greatest reach, and the greatest resources/reserves, so he is their first target. SJWs/Deep State ALWAYS LIE (thanx, Vox!!) When they SAY that they're trying to create a "safe space," they're LYING. They're trying to exercise POWER.

    Again, when you're taking flak, it means YOU'RE OVER THE TARGET! (And by proof by contradiction, if you're not getting any flak (I'm talking to you, Robby), you're no where near the target, and wasting ammo/resources.)

  • Greg Gauthier||

    "...Private companies are under no obligation to provide a platform..." - Quite true. But Google, Facebook, and Apple are not private companies. They are publicly owned corporations. Legal fictions, provided with special legal protections against financial and legal liabilities. Organizations with a tight relationship to the state. Organizations that have received billions in subsidies, tax privileges, and grant money. They are no more "private companies" than the FEDERAL RESERVE is a "private company". Comparing them to a family-owned bakery in Alabama, or a sole-proprietorship computer repair shop in Illinois, or a partnership owned restaurant in Colorado, is ridiculously disingenuous.

    Using these entities to do your bidding, because you know they can hide behind the "muh private company" shield, is exactly what I would expect the political organs pulling corporate strings to do. When you can't get done what you want, because of the constitution, you use your "private" lick-spittles to do it for you.

  • Natural Rights||

    "Private companies are under no obligation to provide a platform to Sandy Hook conspiracy theorizing, 9/11 trutherism, or any of the other insane ideas Jones has propagated."

    Comparing Facebook, Twitter, etc. to private companies is incoherent. Facebook, Twitter, etc. exist through Crony Capitalism. Tax payers are forced by the government to provide tax benefits and regulation exemptions to these fake companies. Therefore, Crony Capitalists are disqualified from censoring people when these entities thrive from subsidies the People are forced to provide to them.

  • woodNfish||

    While these social media platforms may be private companies they have become speech utilities and their ability to censure and economically destroy speech they don't agree with is a new phenomena that needs to be dealt with, and the government is the only body capable of doing that. I don't know what the solution is, but I hope it greatly hurts these leftist platforms that are censoring only the Right.

  • Engel||

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  • Fanglemeister||

    Politically speaking, ABC's George Stephanopolis is virtually a left-right mirror image of Alex Jones - from his thinly veiled hatred for conservatives and libertarians alike to his obviously fake Russian conspiracies presented as fact, he is easily as harmful to the truth as Jones. So why is one of these guys banned and the other is not?

  • Fanglemeister||

    *edit: I had /sarc in angle brackets, the comment app deleted it. It is a rhetorical question.

  • WillPaine||

    Am I the only one who sees the question as: "Is Facebook really a private company?". And the First Amendment is the first for a reason. I watched Al Jones 3 times for about ten minutes; that's 30 minutes I'll never get back. But, and "Be careful you don't call a strike on your own position" Barry Eisler
    "Should I have to choose between government with no free press, or a free press with no government, I should surely choose the latter." I think it was Tom Jefferson who said that.

  • Tomnel141||

    This creates a bit of a paradox. If a bystander reading this Reason post (e.g. Someone such as I) wants to judge for himself he cannot find out what the flap is about. I went to "Infowars" to see the offending posts, or videos or whatever, and could not find them. I did find a statement by Jones that Facebook will not specify what posts caused its action. So what is the bystander supposed to do? Shall we just let Facebook and Reason decide what we should be watching, or reading, or be offended by? That is pure, undiluted censorship.

    Add to this the fact that refusal to specify what the offending material was flushes Facebook's credibility right down a very deeply plumbed toilet.

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