Alex Jones, a man I consider odious and most certainly not a font of truth, has been banned from some key social media platforms this week. Just like that.
This is the work, if you will, of the new ‘Secular Taliban’* who are the rocket-making and Tesla driving titans of tech.
Facebook, Apple, Spotify, Pinterest (?!) and YouTube have just shut down most of Jones’s accounts — depriving him of the chief way of making money for his heretofore very successful brand, InfoWars.
Jones is no more a tool than any number of left wing nutters, The Daily Kos and Young Turks come to mind, and other people on the inter webs using these same platforms.
We all know the stories of hypocritical, double standards used by Leftists who own and operate these platforms – the latest of which saw the suspension of Candace Owens from Twitter for replicating the racist tweets of the newly-hired, New York Times editorial writer, Sarah Jeong, and replacing the word “white” with “Jewish.” Jeong’s racist tweets remain on her Twitter timeline. The term “shadow banning” has now entered the everyday lexicon of Twitter-using conservatives.
In the same week, conservative California Congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng had her campaign commercial wiped off Facebook because it told about The Killing Fields of Cambodia – a place from which her parents fled to come to America.
Apparently history is just too “shocking” for Facebook to allow, especially as told by a conservative congressional candidate who uses her family’s story to explain why she reveres the freedoms of the United States. Freedoms not shared by the new Silicon Valley Oligarchs.
This censorship is what fascism looks like.
Doing it in advance of the 2018 midterms looks as shady as hell. It reminds me of the Obama IRS coming down on Tea Party groups before the 2012 election. Neither of these was a coincidence.
Speaking of ‘coincidences,’ the tech firms who banned Jones decided within hours of each other to abandon their platitudes about free speech and silenced him. I wonder if that’s known as collusion.
“Initially, Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify all took selective action, banning some episodes of Jones’s podcasts and shows or removing selected social media posts they found to be in violation of various policies while allowing Infowars channels to remain active. Last Thursday, the popular audio streaming app Stitcher became the first platform to pull all of Jones’s content, without a lot of fuss.
But on Sunday night, Apple followed suit, summarily banning all of Jones’s content from iTunes — in the process sending a definitive message about what is and isn’t permissible free speech. Almost immediately, the dominoes began to fall: In the hours since Apple took action, multiple sites have started scrambling to reverse positions they were defending just a week ago.
The most notable of these is Facebook, which abruptly about-faced on its own free speech policy just hours after Apple did, essentially in the middle of the night. After that came YouTube, which appeared to ban Jones’s channel (which had more than 2.5 million subscribers as of Monday) from its platform late Monday morning.”
Why silence Jones? A lawsuit, brought by the parents of a victim of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting against Jones for the bizarre and obviously false claim that the shooting didn’t actually happen, was in the news.
To Jones, 9-11 was “an inside job,” a view held by the darling of the left, Rosie O’Donnell, and many others.
Practically every horrible mass event is depicted by Jones as “a false flag” for something-or-other.
But the Sandy Hook hoax tale was a bridge too far for the families of the victims. The lawsuit, that has now been joined by several other families, alleges that they’ve been harmed by Jones’s absurd lie and have set out to, as Wired puts it, “redefine” free speech after the New York Times v Sullivan Supreme Court decision required actual malice against a public figure when reporting false information.
As for the censoring Silicon Valley companies themselves, we know they are privately held and can determine with whom they’ll do business. But Google has become a category-killer in information ‘hoovering’ and search engine services. There are plenty of other cake-bakers, but Google’s pretty much the only game in town. As a result, some of these social platforms may have become so ubiquitous as to become utility-like. Their very success may make them vulnerable to legal action.
Almost all are run and populated by the far Left or those too afraid to cross the ideological rubicon and speak out. Take James Damore, for example, who was fired for highlighting Google’s “ideological echo chamber” in a ten page ‘diversity’ screed (irony is lost on these people).
The only people who seem capable of speaking out are self made Silican Valley tycoons such as Pay-Pal founder Peter Thiel, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and e-Bay whiz Meg Whitman. But you didn’t get a whiff of their politics until they were wealthy enough to speak out.
Former Obama apparatchiks have embedded the big tech firms in Silicon Valley. Don’t diminish the importance of their voices in the “ideological echo chamber.”
From Politico in 2015:
“It’s more than just David Plouffe, who moved out for a multimillion-dollar job at Uber. The not nearly exhaustive list includes: Obama speechwriter Kyle O’Connor, now at Nest; Michelle Obama’s former deputy communications director Semonti Stephens, now at Square; director of citizen participation Katie Jacobs Stanton, now at Twitter; ’08 regional and field director Mike Masserman, now at Lyft; Brandon Lepow, who did advance for the Obama campaign and communications for the White House, now at Facebook; legislative affairs special assistant Nicole Isaac, now at LinkedIn; director of research Liz Jarvis-Shean, first at Tesla and now and currently consulting for Civis; campaign staff director for technology Jim Green, now at Salesforce, along with Obama’s first chief information officer, Vivek Kundra; ’08 regional field director Alex McPhillips, at Google; ’08 regional Gillian Bergeron, at NextDoor; Organizing for America digital director Natalie Foster, at the Institute for the Future; Tech4Obama program manager Catherine Bracy, now at Code for America; ’08 deputy Wisconsin director Hallie Montoya Tansey, at an education-tech startup called Schoolzilla. Nick Papas, John Baldo, Courtney O’Donnell and Clark Stevens are all now at Airbnb. Jessica Santillo, the former White House assistant press secretary who handled much of the Healthcare.gov meltdown response, was the most recent to arrive, now to be a spokeswoman at Uber, along with White House director of strategic & message initiatives Jordan Burke, associate director of intergovernmental affairs Kellyn Blossom and assistant to the deputy White House chief of staff Sarah Fenn.
‘There should be a welcome booth at the SFO airport,” said Jon Carson, the former Organizing for Action executive director, who commutes about twice a month from his home in Chicago as part of his job with the San Francisco-based rooftop solar-panel company SolarCity.
… Megan Smith, a former Google vice president who’s now the White House’s chief technology officer…“
And there are many more who went to the high tech world after Obama left office.
It may not be too long before I and others who identify as conservative may be booted off these social media platforms and will communicate exclusively through our websites, like in the ‘old’ days.
I want you to put my website www.VictoriaTaft.com on your bookmarks and, though my page is undergoing changes and will re-launch in its new form soon enough, I hope you keep coming back to read my posts and see the progress.
I look forward to the challenge but hate the duplicity.
I also fear the chill this will put on speech on social media.
Get ready. Here it comes.
* Secular Taliban, a term of art coined by Rees Lloyd.